Patient steals sat-nav from ambulance

A PATIENT who put lives at risk by stealing two satellite navigation systems has been jailed.Billy Edge, 31, had been released from jail just hours earlier when he threw himself in front of a bus in Ipswich's Museum Street on Wednesday.

Rebecca Lefort

A PATIENT who put lives at risk by stealing two satellite navigation systems has been jailed.

Billy Edge, 31, had been released from jail just hours earlier when he threw himself in front of a bus in Ipswich's Museum Street on Wednesday.

Despite receiving care from paramedics who took him to Ipswich Hospital in an ambulance Edge, of no fixed address, stole two sat navs from ambulances parked outside the Accident and Emergency department - including one from the vehicle that came to his aid.

The navigation equipment is vital to help ambulances reach their destinations as quickly as possible and Paul Henry, associate director of production for the East of England Ambulance Service, said lives could be put at risk by the crime.

Edge, who had taken a week's worth of Valium after being released from prison in Norwich, was detained by police in Ipswich town centre on Thursday. Officers also found cannabis resin in his pockets.

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He appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Saturday and pleaded guilty to stealing the sat navs and possessing cannabis, which has recently been reclassified as a class B drug.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said: “The ambulance service is particularly concerned by this as they are nowadays quite heavily reliant on equipment like this so the loss of it or the fact it can not be used should no doubt be taken into consideration.”

Ian Persaud, mitigating, said: “He threw himself under a bus because he had nowhere to live, he had no money in his pockets, he was totally on his own and he decided he had had enough.

“He is incompetent in dealing with all the rigours that this society demands of him.”

Magistrates sentenced Edge to eight weeks in prison for the theft offences and one week for the possession, to run concurrently.