A 48-year-old woman who rang 999 ten times in one night received an 18-month conditional discharge at St Albans Magistrates Court after the court heard she had mental health issues.

Leaigh Josling, of Golden Dell, Welwyn Garden City pleaded guilty to “causing a nuisance, annoyance and needless anxiety” after she was arrested for repeatedly telephoning the police as well as the ambulance service in the early hours of Wednesday, August 5.

Josling, who was given a conditional discharge in 2003 for a similar offence, told the operator in one call a man in her home had pinned her to the wall and “wanted her sexually”.

On the fourth call Josling said an ambulance driver had exposed himself to her.

She made other calls of a similar nature, and spoke of incidents said to have happened to her as a child.

After the tenth call police went to her home and a drunk Josling was arrested at 6am that morning.

In interview Josling was apologetic, tearful and full of remorse.

She said she was going through trauma due to previous incidents and that it had “felt like an emergency at the time” but realised it was wrong and was sorry.

Magistrates were provided a psychiatric report and in mitigation heard at the time she made the calls Josling had become dependent on alcohol as a result of a “troubled and difficult background".

She had been diagnosed with anxiety and was receiving treatment for alcoholism and agoraphobia, after being referred by the police.

Imposing the 18-month conditional discharge chairman of the bench Mrs Munroe said the court sympathised with Josling.

She said: “This has happened once before, but we realise you have health problems.

“Nevertheless there has been an offence committed and we have to consider a penalty, but we are prepared to impose a conditional discharge.

“It will be longer than the 12 months usually imposed to give you time to reflect on what you have done.”