Woman, 21, jailed after repeatedly calling emergency services and threatening to jump off the bridge
An ‘attention-seeking’ time waster who devastated emergency services with calls and repeatedly threatened to jump off a bridge and cause road closures has been jailed.
21-year-old Bethany De Cogan threatened to jump from a bridge on the A19 near Thirsk in North Yorkshire on February 8, September 28 and October 4 last year.
Her actions caused the road to be completely closed more than once while emergency services arrived on the scene.
York Crown Court heard how De Cogan, of Kilburn, North Yorkshire, had previously been awarded a Criminal Behavior Order for causing a massive disruption to a railway line in May 2019.
Bethany De Cogan (pictured), 21, threatened to jump from a bridge on the A19 near Thirsk in North Yorkshire on February 8, September 28 and October 4 last year
After drinking alcohol, she was lying on the level crossing at Northallerton, the court heard.
That incident resulted in a 123-minute delay and cost rail companies over £ 10,000. In June of that year, there were similar incidents, the court was told.
The order prevented her from going to Northallerton and Thirsk train stations, except for legitimate reasons.
She was also not allowed to call the emergency services, except for a genuine purpose.
Prosecutor said Michael Bosomworth that members of the public encountered De Cogan several times on the bridge and threatened to jump.
She had also called emergency services herself after drinking nearly a whole bottle of gin and threatened to jump.
He said: ‘On October 4, 2020, the ambulance service received a phone call that they were on the wrong side of the bridge over the A19.
She asked for help, saying she would jump if the police came. When the police arrived, they closed the A19.
York Crown Court heard how De Cogan (pictured), of Kilburn, North Yorkshire, was previously awarded a Criminal Behavior Order for causing a massive disruption to a railway line in May 2019.
She was drunk and had an almost empty bottle of gin. The officers managed to get her to safety.
A few weeks later she ended up on the same bridge over the A19. A police officer and a member of the public took her to safety.
“Both times, the A19 was closed for quite some time.”
The court also heard how De Cogan repeatedly assaulted both police officers and ambulance workers who were trying to help her.
De Cogan pleaded guilty to six violations of her warrant.
In compensation, Chris Morrison said a psychiatric report on De Cogan revealed she has a personality disorder.
He said, ‘This will never be addressed unless she stops drinking.
‘Alcohol has devastated her whole life. She has had a difficult upbringing and there have been times in her life when she has been emotionally overwhelmed.
Prosecutor said Michael Bosomworth that members of the public encountered De Cogan several times on the bridge and threatened to jump
She needs a good commitment to the mental health team and support for her.
“She uses alcohol as a pain reliever.”
Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, sentenced De Cogan to two years and seven months in prison.
He said, ‘You’ve been to court over and over for causing trouble with the emergency services and wandering the railways and breaking CBO.
‘The reason for this is that you are a chronic alcoholic, you certainly also have a serious personality disorder. After reading both reports on you, Dr. Green says this will continue, but it won’t be addressed unless your alcohol abuse is addressed first.
‘Best for you is a prolonged period of abstinence.
These are serious and persistent offenses and serious cases of antisocial behavior. I have to remember that members of the audience would have helped pull you off the bridge – in reality, I don’t think you could really jump.
This was attention seeking of its worst kind. The A19 had to be closed twice. ‘
Responding to her repeated calls to the emergency services, Judge Morris said, “These people are there to help the public, and if you call them constantly, you can endanger the lives of others.”