Motherwell man sentenced after robbing ambulance

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Lives were put at risk when a man stole an emergency kit bag from an ambulance which had been called for a patient in Motherwell.

Outraged members of the public chased and caught the culprit, Henry McGuinness.

But Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that another ambulance had to be summoned because it wasn’t clear what, if any, of the vital equipment was missing.

Serial offender McGuinness, (46,) a prisoner, was jailed for a year on Friday.

His lawyer said he was “truly ashamed” of his behaviour.

McGuinness admitted culpably and recklessly stealing the bag from an ambulance in Fort Street on May 17.

The charge stated that his conduct resulted in another ambulance being called out, caused delays and endangered lives.

The court heard he was the subject of four different bail orders at the time of this particular incident

Scott King, prosecuting, said paramedics responded to a call about 5.30pm .

While they were attending to the patient a man saw McGuinness open the door of the ambulance and take out a green bag.

Mr King told the court: “He was seen to walk away and was attempting to conceal the bag.

“He was struggling as it was so big.

“He was then challenged by neighbours who told him to put it back, but he replied that he had done nothing.

“Members of the public chased McGuinness, managed to grab him and retrieved the bag before he ran off.

“The paramedics were unaware of whether he had tampered with the contents of the bag which contained items such as saturation probes for measuring oxygen and resuscitation masks.

“ Due to this another ambulance had to be called.”

McGuinness was traced and arrested a short time later.

Defence agent Elspeth Forrest said McGuinness is “no stranger to the court”,

However, she stated that he had been trying to steer clear of drugs.

However, his partner - the mother of his 15-month-old child - died suddenly in January.

It was stated that he “fell back into his bad ways”.

Mrs Forrest added: “On the day in question he’d taken a significant amount of street valium.

“He he has no recollection of the incident at all.

“The first he was aware of it was when he woke up in a police cell.

“He is truly ashamed of his behaviour and can’t believe he acted in that way.”

Sheriff Thomas Millar told McGuinness his recent history was “quite tragic”,

He then stated that he had to impose a prison sentence given the nature of the theft from the emergency services.

McGuinness is currently in jail for other matters .

His earliest release date is in January next year.

Sheriff Millar said the 12-month sentence will start then.

He told McGuinness: “I hope this allows you the time to get your drug problem under control.”