Tayside and Central Scotland

Patient who stole ambulance crew's defibrillator jailed

A man who stole and broke an ambulance crew's £21,500 defibrillator after they were called to his aid has been jailed for 10 months.

Kevin McGuigan took the device, which is used to treat patients who have gone into cardiac arrest, from a crew in Dundee's Nethergate.

A sheriff told McGuigan he had committed an act of "drunken stupidity".

The 36-year-old, from Edinburgh, admitted the offence.

Dundee Sheriff Court was told that paramedics were sent to a report of an "unconscious, unresponsive" male but arrived to find McGuigan, who began acting aggressively towards them.

They approached police to deal with him and were then called to an emergency in St Andrews.

Depute fiscal Eilidh Robertson said: "As they approached the police the defibrillator was left on the ground beside the accused.

"He then took the device and made off from the police and ambulance, which drove away leaving the device on the ground."

'Extremely drunk'

McGuigan was later traced after trying to hide the defibrillator.

Miss Robertson said: "It turned out part of the equipment had been broken when it was dragged across the ground by the accused.

"The defibrillator was worth £21,500 and the cost of the damage was £500."

Solicitor advocate Krista Johnston, defending, said: "Fortunately for the paramedics, the next job didn't actually require the use of the defibrillator.

"Why did he do this? He was extremely drunk.

"He woke up, picked this item off the ground and wandered off."

Sheriff Alastair Brown told McGuigan: "The theft of medical equipment, especially emergency medical equipment, is always serious, especially when in the course of stealing it you damage it.

"The stark fact is you put other peoples' lives at risk in several ways.

"In other circumstances you could have expected to spent the next several years in prison.

"I'm limiting this sentence because it was drunken stupidity."

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