A housewife named Joanne Healey has been convicted of harassment after repeatedly calling her husband and his friends while they were watching a football match. Joanne's husband, Steve, was at a football game with his friends when Joanne started calling him incessantly to ask when he would be home. Frustrated, Steve eventually stopped answering her calls. However, Joanne didn't stop there and began calling Steve's friends, John and Debbie Ashworth, instead. She even went so far as to smear them by calling them "paedophiles," causing them to disconnect their landline.
The incident occurred in October last year after Joanne had a falling out with Debbie Ashworth. Joanne was asked to leave a martial arts club that John had founded due to her drinking habits. As a result, Joanne began to target the Ashworths with excessive phone calls. Although Steve eventually returned home, Joanne was later questioned by the police regarding the nuisance calls made to the Ashworths' home. Joanne pleaded guilty to harassment in court and was sentenced to a 12-month community order. She was also fined £80. It is unclear whether Joanne is still with her husband.
However, Steve has posted cryptic messages on his Facebook page about narcissism, suggesting that their relationship may be in jeopardy. Despite a request for a restraining order from the Ashworths, it was rejected. During the trial, it was revealed that Joanne had been abusive towards Debbie through text messages, social media, and calls leading up to the football match.
Debbie had blocked Joanne, but she still received numerous unwanted phone calls. Joanne even phoned their landline 59 times within a two-hour period. In a statement to the police, Debbie shared that Joanne had verbally attacked her, calling her and her husband "paedophiles" and accusing her of having an affair with Steve. Despite her lawyer's defense, Joanne was convicted of harassment. She was ordered to attend 20 days of rehabilitative activity with the probation service and had to pay £234 in costs and victim surcharge. However, she did not receive a restraining order. The court expressed hope that Joanne would learn from this experience and not appear before the court again.