A SUSPECT who did a runner from police while under arrest and receiving hospital treatment has been locked up.
Teenager Keith Casey escaped from officers at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, after being arrested on suspicion of a burglary.
But the 18-year-old fled from the hospital, sparking a huge search.
The Cleveland Police helicopter was also scrambled and helped track Casey down.
Casey was given seven months’ custody when he was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.
He earlier pleaded guilty to escaping from police custody on March 2.
Casey had been arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary in Hartlepool the previous day along with Darren Kinsella, 27.
The court heard Casey, of Warren Road, Hartlepool, was found near the hospital within 25 minutes of escaping.
Richard Herrman, mitigating, accepted making off from police custody was a serious offence.
But he said no real harm was caused, adding: “He took his opportunity, but didn’t inflict any force on the officer and ran out of the hospital.
“The police helicopter was scrambled. He was found a very short distance away from where he left the hospital 24 minutes later.”
Sentencing, Judge George Moorhouse said 112 days served by Casey on remand will count towards his sentence.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “There are occasions when individuals attempt to flee from police.
“However, all resources available are used in an effort to trace these people.
“Wherever appropriate, specialist units will be deployed to track down those that think that they can avoid the law.
“Our message is there is nowhere to hide.”
Hospital bosses said no patients were put at risk because of the incident because they have well-practised measures in place.
A spokesman for the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “We have got well rehearsed security procedures in place for dealing with this type of incident to ensure that patients are kept secure.”
Casey and Darren Kinsella, of Milbank Road, Hartlepool, were due to stand trial at the crown court over the alleged aggravated burglary.
They were accused of burgling a house in Cornwall Street, Hartlepool, on March 1 and stealing money, a mobile phone and computer games console.
Both men were formally found not guilty after the prosecution offered no evidence.