Suicidal man stole drugs from Sunderland Royal Hospital

Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Sunderland Royal Hospital.
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A suicidal hospital patient stole medication from the hospital where he was being treated.

John Simon, 33, was being treated at Sunderland Royal Hospital after injecting himself with Vitamin C and taking street valium and collapsing.

What he then did was steal medication in the hospital and his intention was to try to finish off that what he had started earlier that day, to finish his own life

John Wesencraft, defending

Magistrates in Sunderland heard Simon was desperate to end his life and decided to raid a crash trolley of drugs to finish off the job.

Fortunately, staff caught him before it was too late and he is now about to start a new job after the incident on May 24.

Prosecutor Justin Gibson said: “Simon was admitted to Sunderland Royal Hospital after injecting Vitamin C and taking an overdose of drugs.

“He was placed in a treatment room and tests were carried out. In the early hours of the following morning, at 1am, he was asleep.

“Then, at 2am, a staff nurse observed Mr Simon standing at one of the crash trolleys containing emergency medication.

“She could see Simon had his hands in the drawer, rifling through it.

“Other staff members were informed and confronted him. He denied it at first.”

The court heard four adrenalin injections were missing, two of which were found in Simon’s bag along with three vials of hydrocortison, which also came from the crash trolley.

“He said his intention was to use them to end his life,” Mr Gibson added. “He was going to take it due to mental health issues and as he’s getting no help from his doctor or the hospital.

Simon, of Norfolk Street, Sunderland, admitted theft and breach of a conditional discharge. He has 31 previous convictions fro theft, the court was told.

John Wesencraft, defending, said: “Mr Simon has a long history of drug misuse. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and generalised anxiety disorder and, as a result, he’s on medication.

“He had his medication changed by his doctor, which had an adverse effect on him.

“He now knows, having read up on the internet, that one of the side effects is, if you are prone to suicidal thoughts, it brings them to the fore.

“After arguing with his doctor he took himself back home and took the medication, then set off to kill himself.

“First, he went to buy some street valium, which he took – lots of it. He also bought some Vitamin C for good measure. It won’t have had any effect, but he injected it.

“Somebody found him and he was taken to hospital. He doesn’t remember being in the hospital.

“What he then did was steal medication in the hospital and his intention was to try to finish off what he had started earlier that day, to finish his own life.”

Mr Wesencraft added that Simon has now been taken off the troublesome medication and is in the process of changing doctors. He also has a job offer as a painter and decorator.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, with 20 days of specified activity, and an eight-week curfew from 7pm to 7am.