Lager thief abused police officer in Sunderland A&E department

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A THIEF got drunk on stolen lager then shouted abuse at a Pc in the accident and emergency department of Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Lee Fairley and an accomplice were caught by a shop worker leaving a store in Silksworth with slabs of lager.

When he was challenged by the member of staff who knew him, Fairley, 25, said: “It was not me. Why are you grassing me up?”

He refused to comment when interviewed by police, but pleaded guilty to theft at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

Fairley, from Redwood Grove in Silksworth, who has 123 convictions, also admitted being drunk and disorderly at the city hospital, hours after stealing the lager on July 4.

Lee Poppett, prosecuting, said: “At 3.40am in the morning of July 5, perhaps feeling the effects of the crate of lager he had stolen, he attended accident and emergency. Police who were in the hospital were made aware of Fairley and a friend, each carrying a bag with a bottle of alcohol in.

“Hospital staff said they approached the police and asked them to speak to the pair.

“A Pc approached him and asked if he was at the hospital for any particular reason.”

Fairley subjected the officer to a tirade of foul-mouthed abuse and was eventually arrested after a security guard saw him drinking on hospital grounds.

Anna Haq, defending him, said it was “disappointing” that he was back in court, after appearing just days earlier on other matters. She added that he had just been offered a job as a labourer and was supposed to start at noon that day.

She said: “He seemed quite excited about that last week and he seemed to suggest that his behaviour, that you can see as a result of previous convictions, was that he had nothing to focus on.

“He was drinking a lot during the day and getting into mischief.”

District Judge Roger Elsey deferred sentencing for three months and ordered Fairley not to commit any further offences, to pay £10 a week towards his fines and produce written proof of employment by October 6.

He said: “If you comply with all of these conditions, you will be dealt with by way of a financial penalty.

“If you do not, all options, including a prison sentence, will be looked at.”

A second man is being hunted by police after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Twitter: @janethejourno