Skiddaw, the mountain on which the alleged offences centred

Skiddaw, the mountain on which the alleged offences centred

The trial of a journalist charged with making hoax mountain rescue calls during the Cumbrian floods last year began yesterday in Workington.

Sarah Louise Crickmer, 27, of South Shields, Tyne and Wear, is charged on two counts of sending a false message by public electronic communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety, in contravention of section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

The hearing took a twist when the reporter’s solicitor Christian Harbinson revealed the woman has problems with alcohol and felt unable to attend West Allerdale Magistrates to answer the charges.

Mr Harbinson requested an adjournment of the case but this was refused. He then told the court he would no longer be representing Ms Crickmer and withdrew from the case, which then went ahead without either the defendant’s presence of anyone to defend her.

Christopher Higgins of Keswick Mountain Rescue Team told the court he went to the Lyzzick Hall Hotel, near Applethwaite, to speak to her after being unable to get full details from her over the phone.

She had earlier rung Julian Carradice of the Wasdale team claiming she had been told someone had broken a leg on Skiddaw and was not being rescued. Mr Carradice told her the mountain was outside his team’s area and passed on details to the Keswick team.

The case continues.

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