Bundaberg Court House
Bundaberg Court House Mike Knott

Prank call trio await sentence

THREE call centre workers who sought revenge on a woman by calling her with threats and abuse chose the wrong person to mess with - a barrister.

Former Salmat workers Andrew Lee Coney, 29, of Millbank, Dale Robert Edward Smedley, 21, of Kepnock, and Patrick James Watson, 23, of Bundaberg South, are facing jail terms after making a series of vulgar and threatening phone calls to the Melbourne woman in January this year.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said two of the offenders, Watson and Smedley, had worked at the now defunct Salmat call centre and had not liked the attitude of a woman they had spoken to in the course of their duties.

The pair stole the barrister's phone number from Salmat and proceeded to make about 15 telephone calls on three occasions during a two week block in January.

On January 8, Watson pretended to be a telemarketer working out of Colorado and called the woman at 12.40am and began leaving threatening messages after she pointed out the late hour and ended the call.

"Seriously if I lived in Australia, I'd take on of those brown people from the outback, those aborigines, I'd take one of their goddamn spears and I'd spear you right in the p**sy," Watson said in a message left at 1.36am on January 15.

"I'm going to f**king rape and murder your f**king b**tch and I'll slit your throat so you can't scream."

During the last call which was made on January 22 by Coney, he posed as Watson's supervisor and threatened to visit the woman with a lead pipe.

Smedley's lawyer Rian Dwyer pointed out that his client's involvement was limited to one sentence where he told the woman she was a prostitute and a slut and said he hoped she had AIDS and died painfully.

Unbeknownst to the offenders, the barrister then had Telstra set up a Malicious Call Trace on her phone which led police straight to the Bundaberg-based offenders.

The three men yesterday faced Bundaberg Magistrates Court where Smedley and Coney pleaded guilty to one count each of using a carriage service to menace and harass someone and Watson, the main offender, pleaded guilty to three counts of the charge.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts will sentence the trio later today.


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