Patient from Halifax stole BMW after finding keys at hospital

16 July 2004.'St James's University Hospital.
16 July 2004.'St James's University Hospital.

A patient from Halifax who stole a £20,000 BMW after finding the keys to the vehicle in the grounds of St James’s Hospital in Leeds has been jailed.

Leeds Crown Court heard Christopher Adams picked up the keys after they had fallen out of the pocket of a man who was visiting another patient.

The court heard Adams, who is receiving treatment on his lung, then bought a ticket for the car park.

Adams, 27, then walked around the car park pressing the key fob until he saw the alarm deactivate on the BMW.

Adams drove off but was arrested two hours later after he he was spotted on CCTV taking the vehicle.

The vehicle was recovered undamaged later the same day, September 16 this year.

Louise Pryke, prosecuting, said the owner of the car had been helping a poorly friend walk around the hospital grounds when the keys fell from his pocket.

Adams has 27 previous convictions for 63 offences, mainly for vehicle crime, and had served prison sentences.

He was interviewed and admitted the offence. He accepted the keys could have belonged to another patient.

Adams, of Fenton Road, Halifax, pleaded guilty to theft.

The court heard Adams has been receiving treatment at the hospital for a cyst on his lung and may need to undergo an operation.

Felicity Hemlin, mitigating, said Adams acted impulsively after finding the keys. Adams was jailed for eight months.

Judge James Spencer, QC, said: “I cannot overlook your history of crime and your history of going to prison.”