A TEENAGER who made nearly 800 malicious calls to the police over Christmas has been given a suspended sentence.

Kerry Moate, 18, of Samuel Jones Crescent, Little Paxton, made 756 hoax 999 calls on Christmas Day and Boxing Day last year, and 44 more between December 11 and 13.

She was arrested on the morning of Tuesday, December 27, and pleaded guilty to two counts of persistently making use of public communication networks to cause annoyance/inconvenience or anxiety.

She was sentenced to four months, suspended for two years at Huntingdon Law Court today (Thursday).

Detective Superintendent Paul Fullwood said: "The sheer volume of malicious calls was extremely disruptive to the force at a time of year that is always busy for police.

"Today's sentence sends out a clear message about the severity of this offence.

"Every time someone misuses 999 they are potentially putting others' lives at risk. This is especially true when we receive a large number of nuisance calls as it impacts on how quickly other emergency calls are answered.

"This behaviour is completely unacceptable and we will continue to pursue those who make malicious calls.

"The emergency number is in place to protect people from harm and to deal with serious offences, and can be called if a suspect is at a scene, if there is a likelihood of violence or damage to a person's property and when there is a serious road traffic collision."