Mum fined after bizarre blaze stunt

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A SINGLE mum trying to escape an “abusive” relationship made a bizarre call for help – by setting fire to her
garden shed and dialling 999.

Livingston Sheriff Court was told that Elizabeth Shaw cost Lothian and Borders Police more than £1000 in officers’ time by making false accusations against her ex-partner.

Fire crews spent two hours at the scene of the blaze, adding to the cost to taxpayers.

Mum-of-two Shaw was also given a panic alarm and patrols outside her home.

An “occurrence marker” was placed against her address so police could give any further calls from her top priority.

But Shaw, of Bathgate, West Lothian, admitted in court yesterday that she made up the whole story.

The cleaner pleaded guilty to wasting police time by rendering someone liable to being falsely accused of wilful fire raising.

Sheriff Douglas Kinloch fined Shaw £315, and told her: “As I understand it, it was you who set fire to the shed and then called the fire brigade. It seems it must have been some sort of cry for help or something like that.

“I see in the report that you couldn’t understand what prompted you to act that way.

“It suggests that because of various difficulties in your life you could think of no other way to ask for help.”