Double amputee 'target in hospital raid'

A double amputee was among patients targeted by thieves during a night-time raid on a Belfast hospital, the High Court has heard.

Published 30/01/2013 12:00

Intruders who infiltrated the wards at the Royal Victoria Hospital also stole from a pensioner and a man under sedation, prosecutors said.

Details of the victims were disclosed as one of two men accused of the break-in failed in a new bid to be released on bail.

Gerard Madden, 21, of Aspen Park, Dunmurry, denies two counts of burglary and another attempted burglary charge.

At a previous hearing it was revealed that patients' mobile phones, a handbag, watch and headphones were taken in the early hours of 15 October last year.

One elderly patient was said to have been wakened from her sleep by a man standing beside her bed drinking from a bottle.

She challenged him after discovering her phone was missing, the court was told at the time.

CCTV footage forms part of the case against the suspects that they allegedly left the accident and emergency area and wandered through the hospital without permission. Madden sought bail again today in a bid to help his pregnant partner.

Mr Justice Burgess, who heard the original application, recalled that the alleged offences involved victims waking up to discover the intrusions.

A prosecuting barrister further disclosed: "One was sedated, one was in their early seventies, and one was a double amputee."

Defence counsel Michael Ward urged the judge to release his client due to the length of time the case is taking to get to trial.

He said the accused wanted to support his partner as she prepares to give birth to their child.

Claiming Madden has obtained a sense of responsibility, the barrister added: "He feels he has been punished sufficiently and makes no bones about the fact that he has a case to answer.

"He really is someone who seems to have turned a corner. He wants to be there for his partner during the final weeks of her pregnancy."

However, Mr Justice Burgess again ruled that bail should be refused.

He confirmed: "At this stage I see no grounds for changing my original decision."

© UTV 2016