POLICE have defended their actions in prosecuting a woman who breached an order banning her from calling 999.

Beth Jade Isabella Armstrong pleaded guilty to breaching a criminal behaviour order when she appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court.

The 24-year-old was given the three-year order in August 2017. It bans her from ringing NHS Direct or 999 unless it is an emergency.

On Monday the court heard Armstrong had called the out-of-hours mental health team at 10.40pm on July 17 to tell them she had taken an overdose.

The team sent an ambulance and police to her home in Harrogate Street, Barrow but when they arrived she was not there.

After searching for Armstrong for over an hour police eventually found her two miles away on Peter Green Way.

Paramedics took her to Furness General Hospital but she refused to allow doctors to treat her.

Armstrong’s prosecution was authorised by police and on Monday she was given an eight-week curfew requiring her to remain indoors between 7pm and 7am.

She was also ordered to pay a £90 surcharge and £85 costs.

Police said breaching a criminal behaviour order is ‘an offence we take incredibly seriously’.

A police spokesman said: “A Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) is put in place to deter reoffending and to offer a person a ‘last chance’ to change their behaviour.

“The restrictions placed on an individual in their CBO are carefully considered and are not put in place lightly: they are subject to evidence being submitted and heard in court.

“Where appropriate police will work with partner agencies to deter reoffending by supporting offenders.

“Breaching a CBO is a criminal offence and an offender breaching their CBO can expect to be brought back before a court.

“Wasting police time is an offence which unfortunately diverts policing resources away from other members of the public who are in need of assistance, this is an offence we take incredibly seriously.”