Man came out of coma and stole doctor’s phone and cash

A man came out of a six-week coma in hospital and stole cash and a phone belonging to one of the doctors.

Judge Olann Kelleher said it was a particularly mean type of offence in that it was committed against a member of the medical profession at a time when he was working to look after people in the hospital.

Inspector Gary McPolin said the doctor told gardaí that his mobile phone and €90 in cash taken from his wallet at an office in Cork University Hospital.

Robert Harris, aged 36, pleaded guilty to that theft and other crimes at Cork District Court yesterday.

Michael Quinlan, defending, said Harris had been in a coma for six weeks in the hospital.

He left of his own accord, effectively pulling out tubes and throwing them aside as he left the hospital without being discharged by medical staff.

Mr Quinlan said Harris admitted that he took the wallet and phone.

“His intention was to give them to lost and found. When approached, he admitted he had them,” said Mr Quinlan.

Insp McPolin said: “On June 1, gardaí called to the CUH and met with a doctor who said his mobile phone and his wallet containing €90 was taken from his office at the accident and emergency department.

“Garda Aisling Murphy rang the phone and spoke to a male who said he wanted to give the doctor his property back.

“By arrangement gardaí met Robert Harris who handed over the phone and wallet but the €90 cash was missing.”

Judge Kelleher imposed four months’ imprisonment.

The 36-year-old, of no fixed address, had been living at various hostel accommodation in Cork.

He also admitted being drunk and a danger on South Mall, Cork City, on October 27, 2017; a similar offence four days later at Kennedy Quay; being drunk and a danger on November 8 at Albert St; and stealing four cans of cider at Centra on Grand Parade on January 14.


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