Thief stole fellow patient’s iPhone while in Sunderland Royal Hospital for overdose

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A THIEF has been jailed after stealing a mobile phone from a patient at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Scott Rudkin was also being treated at the hospital but fled after snatching the iPhone5 in the early hours of August 30.

Rudkin, 28, from Horden, pleaded guilty to theft of the £450 phone at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Lee Poppett told the court that the victim left his phone on a chair by his hospital bed, before falling asleep.

When he woke up at 6.30am, the phone had been taken and Rudkin was gone.

Rudkin was arrested two hours later in Sunderland’s Fawcett Street, where he had the Apple gadget.

Mr Poppett said: “He said he had woken up at 5.30am and had found the phone on the floor at the side of his bed.

“He accepts he picked it up and put it in his pocket and said his intention was to sell it, as he had no money.”

Jaxon Taylor, defending, said Rudkin had just moved back to his parents’ address in Cotsford Park and was in hospital after a suspected methadone overdose.

He said: “He was feeling extremely unwell and had taken a considerable amount of medication. It was effectively an overdose and he found himself in Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“He does not know how he got there or who contacted the ambulance service.

“He woke up with a drip in his arm.

“He decided he did not want to continue with the care at Sunderland Royal Hospital.”

Rudkin was already on a 12-week suspended sentence from Teesside Crown Court.

Activating the suspended sentence, district judge Helen Cousins said: “This offence, while it might not have been premeditated, was in a hospital and the victim was in a vulnerable situation.

“It has been committed very shortly into the suspended sentence.”

Rudkin was given a separate six-week jail term – to run consecutively – for the theft.