Thief broke into car as girlfriend was treated for overdose at Larbert hospital

editorial image

A thief took the opportunity to pinch goods from a vehicle in a hospital car park after dropping off his girlfriend who had just taken an overdose.

While his partner was receiving treatment at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Paul Finnigan (34) was forcing down a window of a car to steal a rucksack containing a brand new mobile phone.

Appearing from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Finnigan had admitted the thefts he committed at the Larbert hospital, in Glenside Court, Grangemouth and at the Artisan Grill at the Kelpies on August 2.

Samantha Brown, procurator fiscal depute, said: “The accused entered the car park and parked two spaces along from the complainer’s car. At that stage he was seen acting suspiciously.

“The owner of the car returned at 8pm and found the front passenger window had been pushed down by force and there were a number of items scattered around. His rucksack, which contained a Samsung mobile phone, house keys, phone chargers and personal paperwork, was missing.

“The property taken had an estimated value of £1200.”

Finnigan was back at it again, taking items from another vehicle after telling a passer-by the car belonged to his friend. This time fishing equipment, alcohol and a set of headphones were stolen.

Finnigan was also spotted at the Artisan Grill at the Kelpies, walking away from the food seller, which was closed for the night, with a box containing crisps and other items, which were falling out of the box as he walked along.

The court heard Finnigan’s girlfriend overdosed on various medications and he was at the hospital with her, so there had been an “element of opportunism” to the crime.

Sheriff John Mundy said: “It’s an extraordinary thing – his girlfriend having overdosed and then him going and doing this.”

He sentenced Finnigan, of no fixed abode, to serve three months of his unexpired sentence and another nine months in prison on top of that.