Aggressive caller rang helpline 28,000 times

A teenager has been put on probation for 18 months for making 28,000 nuisance phone calls to branches of Samaritans and threatening the charity's volunteers.

Jade Heanan, 18, from Aberdeenshire, made the calls over a five-month period between May and October 2005.

During the calls she threatened to set fire to Samaritans’ Aberdeen branch, claimed there was a bomb in the building and threatened to assault volunteers and put bricks through the windows.

Heanan was put on probation for 18 months at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The Samaritans said it withdrew its service to Heanan in December 2005 “in both her interests and those of the charity”.

“The number and nature of calls made by Jade Heanan to Samaritans, Aberdeen branch, prompted the branch to inform the authorities about her inappropriate use of our service”, a Samaritans spokesman said.

“Under extreme circumstances, and after exhausting all reasonable alternative options with callers, Samaritans sometimes withdraws its service in situations where we believe the support we can offer is no longer helpful to the caller, when our volunteers are threatened, or where the actions of a caller threaten to compromise our ability to offer our service to others who need it.”

He added that the Samaritans was “glad to hear that Jade is moving towards a place where she can get the help and the care that she needs.”

Heanan’s solicitor Kevin Longino declined to comment.

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