Jail for hospital thief who was ‘out of his head’ on drugs

Belfast City Hospital

Belfast City Hospital

A 27-year-old man with over 200 criminal convictions was yesterday handed an eight-month prison sentence after he admitted stealing personal items from members of staff at Belfast City Hospital.

Belfast Crown Court heard that Kenneth Edward James McIntyre, whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, was “out of his head” on diazepam and steroids when he targeted the hospital in the early hours of February 21 this year.

McIntyre’s DNA was found on a can of Coke he left at

the scene, and he was also captured on the hospital’s CCTV. He subsequently pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary.

A Crown prosecutor told Judge Corinne Philpott QC a staff member arrived at the main reception area around 7.30am on February 21, where she discovered the drawers of her desk open and the contents on the floor. A mobile phone, jewellery and a small amount of money were missing. A second member of staff arrived at work in the physiotherapy department at 8.45am and was greeted with a “similar scenario”, with another small amount of money missing.

The prosecutor said McIntyre was linked to the scene via swabs taken from the can of Coke, which matched his DNA. He was also caught on CCTV at around 4.30am “climbing over the counter in the reception area” and again in the physiotherapy department “trying door handles”.

McIntyre told police he couldn’t remember the incident as he was going through a “bad patch”.

A defence barrister said his client initially went to the hospital for treatment to an injury, adding it was “never his intention to burgle it”.Saying McIntyre was “under an awful lot of pressure at the time”, the barrister said his client was “out of his head” on drugs.


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