Leeds hospital patient stole cash from pensioner

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A callous thief stole cash from a vulnerable pensioner who befriended him while they were on the same hospital ward.

Jamie Loftus betrayed the friendship of the vulnerable 75-year-old victim after he trusted him with his bank card and PIN number.

Loftus was an inpatient at St James’s Hospital in Leeds in March last year when he met the elderly man who was in the next bed to him.

Charlotte Worsley, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the two men bacame friendly and would go outside together to smoke. Shortly before the elderly man was discharged he asked Loftus if we would buy him some things to take home with him.

The pensioner gave Loftus his bank card and told him the PIN number.

Loftus, 24, then went and withdrew £250 from a cash machine in the hospital which he kept for himself.

He then managed to obtain a further £600 worth of items from shops in the vicinity of the hospital.

Loftus attempted to obtain another £1,000 in cash by using the card but was unsuccessful.

Police were contacted and the victim burst into tears when he was told what had happened. The court heard Loftus, of Domestic Street, Holbeck, has a long history for committing offences of dishonesty.

At the time of the offence he was on bail for stealing from his grandmother.

He pleaded guilty to theft.

Jayne Dodson, mitigating, said much of Loftus’s offending was linked to drug abuse. She said her client had been responding well to help he had been receiving from a religious charity.

Miss Dodson said: “He understands that it was a very despicable thing to do.

She added: “He has decided that he wants to change his life and this new found faith has assisted him.”

Miss Dodson said Loftus accepted that he would be jailed for his offending and intended to continue to work with the charity upon his release.

Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “You have got a terrible record and you were on bail for stealing from your grandmother when you committed this offence. He (the victim) was devastated when he found out about what you did. No doubt it had has undermined his confidence because he will feel he can no longer trust anybody.”

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