A DRINK-FUELLED weekend binge that saw a man break into an ambulance and steal a paramedic’s jacket has landed him with suspended four-month prison sentence.
Shane Sutton, 23, admitted breaking into and stealing the paramedic’s jacket from a locked ambulance in Llandrindod between September 26-27 last year, and was sentenced by magistrates in the town on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Kevin Challinor told Llandrindod Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, January 6, that Sutton was caught when CCTV footage from outside his previous Gwynfa address in town showed him wearing a paramedic’s jacket.
“Chris Corlett had been on duty with a colleague on September 26,” said Mr Challinor.
“The vehicle was parked at base during an allotted break and he left his jacket between the seats in the front. He heard his colleague lock the ambulance then when he returned he opened up and found aprons and facemasks thrown about the footwell, and noticed his jacket was missing.
“He thought he must have left it in the station, there was no thought of theft. He cleaned up and then went to an incident. He later reported the theft and that the ambulance had been broken into.
“After being informed of the incident, police officers viewed footage at Gwynfa and saw the defendant at the location wearing a paramedic’s jacket.
“He was arrested, made no reply in interview and the jacket wasn’t recovered. There is no value as the Welsh Ambulances Service are no longer able to source that type of jacket.”
Mr Challinor noted that by committing the offence, Sutton was in breach of a community order made following a 2019 offence of burglary and aggravated vehicle taking. Meanwhile, he’d also appeared in court at Welshpool on December 20 last year where he had been convicted of theft of a bank card and two counts of fraud in relation to using that card, for which he’d received 100 hours of unpaid work.
Acting for Sutton, now of Cwrt Afon, Brecon, Robert Hanratty told the court his client had moved away from Llandrindod in order to get away from the trouble he’d caused himself and was now looking to enrol at college.
“I have been representing this man since he first started appearing in court and he is always in trouble for rather thoughtless, impulsive actions,” said Mr Hanratty.
“This type of incident fitted his MO and he is rightly worried and remorseful. He says he had taken 20 Xanax tablets and been drinking very heavily that weekend.
“He was, at the time, living in very undesirable conditions and hanging out with the wrong people. He has since moved to Brecon and changed his ways; Welshpool magistrates were impressed with his demeanour in December and the lifestyle changes he’s made.
“He is very anxious to avoid a custodial sentence.”
Chair of the bench, Ingrid Gallagher, said of the crimes: “They have passed the custody threshold. They were against a public servant and committed while on a court order.”
Sutton was ordered to serve two eight-week terms of imprisonment; one for the ambulance theft and another for the bank card theft. These will be served consecutively, with another eight weeks to be served concurrently for the two fraud offences, with punishment for the 2019 offences revoked. The 16 weeks will be suspended for a year.
Additionally, Sutton must attend 10 rehabilitation activity days, register for the thinking skills programme and complete 100 hours unpaid work.
He must also pay the Welsh Ambulances Service £150 compensation, a £128 surcharge and £85 costs.