Leeds burglar confessed to police that he stole £25,000 worth of St James' hospital equipment before coronavirus lockdown

A career criminal has been jailed for three years after confessing to breaking into St James' hospital in Leeds and stealing equipment worth around £25,000.

Monday, 13th July 2020, 2:10 pm
Updated Monday, 13th July 2020, 5:10 pm

Richard Chadwick told police he was responsible for helping another criminal carry out the raid at the hospital's Clinical Practice Centre after he was arrested for possessing a knife in Leeds city centre.

Leeds Crown Court heard officers were sent to Duncan Street on June 19 this year to a report of a man threatening people with a knife.

Abdul Shakoor, prosecuting, said the officers went to the area and arrested Chadwick after finding him in possession of a penknife.

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Richard Chadwick was jailed for three years for a burglary at St James' Hospital in Leeds

As he was placed in a police van Chadwick said he had helped Gareth Tansey carry out a burglary at the hospital in March.

Tansey, 36, has already been jailed for two years over the 'deplorable' offence in which vital equipment was stolen as the NHS was preparing to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Chadwick told officers Tansey had approached him and said he needed help removing items from the centre.

A training room window was smashed before the burglars entered the building.

Richard Chadwick carried out a burglary worth 25,000 at St James' Hospital shortly before coronavirus lockdown

Property stolen in the raid included five hand-held radios, a virtual reality simulator, six laptops, a sim card and two projectors.

Tansey was arrested after his fingerprint was recovered from the crime scene.

Mr Shakoor said Chadwick also told police that he was planning to slash the throat of another criminal who had recently broken into his home in Harehills and stolen all his valuables.

Chadwick said: "I'm going to stab his throat and leave him dead. He has robbed the wrong person.

"I swear if I get out I'm going to kill him."

Chadwick, of Stanley Road, Harehills, pleaded guilty to burglary, possession of an offensive weapon and making a threat to kill.

The court heard he has 39 convictions for 113 offences and has spent long periods of his adult life in custody.

Richard Reed, mitigating, said: "The most significant point is that he would not be before the court for this burglary had he not made the admission.

Mr Reed said Chadwick had long-standing drug problems.