A housewife has been convicted of harassment after nagging and hounding her husband’s friends to let him come home while he was out watching football.
Joanne Healey, 59, called her husband of 37 years, Steve, repeatedly as he was watching a Chelsea v Manchester United game with his friends.
Healey, 60, eventually refused to take the calls. At that point Healey began to call his friends John and Debbie Ashworth on their landline instead, blasting them as ‘paedophiles’ for not letting her husband be with his family.
The quarrel occurred last October after Healey had fallen out with her friend of 30 years Mrs Ashworth, when she was asked to leave a martial arts club Mr Ashworth had founded because of her drinking habits.
Following the excessive phone calls, Mr Healey eventually returned home but his wife was later questioned by police over the calls to the Ashworths’ home in Rock Ferry, Merseyside. It emerged she had been drinking heavily at the time of the incident.
At Wirral magistrates court on Thursday, July 20, Healey pleaded guilty to harassment and was sentenced to a 12-month community order and fined £80.
The court says she must attend 20 days of rehabilitative activity with the probation service and pay £234 in costs and a victim surcharge. A request for a restraining order made on behalf of Mrs Ashworth was rejected.
In the days leading up to the football match, Healey was said to have been abusive to Mrs Ashworth over text messages, social media and calls. She was blocked but then Mrs Ashworth began to receive numerous unwanted phone calls to her landline. On one occasion she was said to have phoned the house phone 59 times in the space of two hours.
In a statement, Mrs Ashworth told police: ‘Mrs Healey was unhappy at being told that she was no longer welcome at the club. I told her to stop calling me, but she ignored that and continued with her persistent behaviour.
‘Specifically, on October 22 last year, Mrs Healey was ringing constantly. I was at home with my husband John, my son and also her husband, Steve Healey. We were all watching a football match on the TV.
‘Mr Healey had his mobile phone with him but it kept ringing. She was asking him where he was and when he would be home and demanded that he bring the dog back. Steve said that he would be home soon and will bring the dog back soon but he stopped answering his phone and she started ringing my landline instead.
‘My son answered the phone to Healey and he told her to stop ringing me. I then told her multiple times to leave me alone and not to contact me again, but her reaction was drunken abuse, shouting and swearing at me, calling me and my husband “paedophiles” and calling me a “slag”. She even accused me of having an affair with her husband Steve, which is a lot of rubbish.
‘I tried not to get into an argument with her so I kept hanging up but she would ring me back.
‘During the calls, she was going on at me to tell Steve to answer his phone. I was trying to tell her that he was watching the football.
‘She was even demanding that he bring the dog back to the house. She was drunk when she was ringing me, as she usually when she behaves like this.
‘Every time she rang I just put the phone down as I did not want to argue. But she would just ring back.
‘In the end, we just left the receiver off the hook and put the volume up on the TV so we could not hear her shouting down the phone.
‘In the end, however, I had to put the phone back on because I look after my mum so I need to be able to answer the phone in case there is an emergency.
‘Once the game was finished, Steve went straight home, but she was still ringing my landline telling me that Steve went home and battered her, which is a load of rubbish.’
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