Hospital iPad thief avoids jail sentence
A woman who admitted stealing an iPad from a hospital unit which was treating her own critically ill child has walked free from court with a conditional discharge.
Freeing 22-year-old Lori-Ann Thompson at Newtownards Magistrates Court with a 12-month discharge, District Judge Mark Hamill said the theft of a computer tablet used by medics to treat children was "disgraceful" but that, admirably, she had owned up to the offence the next day.
"There are two aspects to this case," the judge told Thompson.
"One is the disgraceful stealing of hospital property but the other is admirable in that within 24 hours you repented and returned it. I will let the admirable part outweigh the disgraceful part."
The court had earlier heard that police were called to the paediatric unit of the Ulster Hospital's emergency department on June 15 last year when staff discovered that an iPad had been stolen.
A prosecuting lawyer described how staff at the unit, which cares for critically ill children, used the device which held algorithms and resuscitation calculations when treating seriously ill children.
A review of CCTV footage depicted Thompson's partner Jamie Axon (22), also from Frome Street in Belfast, showing the device to Thompson and she put it into their child's pram.
The following day, the iPad was returned to the unit by a member of Belmont Church. While Thompson admitted the theft yesterday, Axon did not show up at court although his case had been listed.
Judge Hamill warned Thompson not to reoffend in the next year, adding that Axon "will have to come to court at some stage."