Hartlepool drug addict caused 'significant' damage to hospital physio centre after burglary but left his blood behind

A drug addict who burgled a hospital building and stole two laptop computers has been locked up.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 2:33 pm

Anthony Whitelock, 35, from Hartlepool, smashed a window to get into the Thatchell Centre for physiotherapy at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.

The break-in on February 18 last year caused considerable disruption to patients, Teesside Crown Court was told.

The centre had to be closed for around a day as a result while police investigated and staff cleaned up the mess.

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The University Hospital of North Tees.

Whitelock, who has a long record linked to his drug use, was identified after leaving some of his blood behind at the scene.

He also admitted a series of other crimes including interfering with and stealing from vehicles in Hartlepool.

Whitelock told police he had been hallucinating and said he had no memory of the break in.

He pleaded guilty to burglary.

Judge Jonathan Carroll said: “You broke in smashing a window to get through causing significant damage to the room inside and removed two laptops.

“A business impact statement makes it clear that caused significant inconvenience to the patients who would use the premises.”

Whitelock, of Grange Road, Hartlepool, also admitted interfering with a Toyota Yaris in Hartlepool on September 2, interfering with a Ford Transit on Huckelhoven Way, on July 15, and possession of heroin, also on July 15, and theft from a motor vehicle on July 7, last year.

He has 63 convictions encompassing 131 offences on his record, many for dishonesty related crimes.

The court heard he has an inherited medical condition which makes his life more difficult.

But the judge said he had genuine sympathy for him but added: “Your solution to it is to immerse yourself in a life of drugs and lifestyle that goes along with living day to day to fund a drug habit.

"As a result you are persistently causing medium to low level crime having a disproportionate impact on society around you.”

The court heard Whitelock has spent much of his life in and out of custody and was almost at the point of becoming institutionalised.

Judge Carroll said he had considered all options but there was no alternative to prison.

Whitelock was jailed for 12 months and seven days.

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