Chorley and South Ribble Hospital thief who 'peered into patient's rooms' is sent to prison

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital
Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

A woman who was spotted looking in patients rooms in a hospital ward for elderly patients has admitted stealing a nurse’s bag.

Prolific thief Tamara Tunstall, who is now in jail serving time for other offences, has been given an additional 24-week jail term after admitting the theft in the Rookward ward at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, which deals with elderly patients.

Prosecuting at Preston Magistrates’ Court, Tracey Yates said on April 17 a member of staff had taken his brown satchel to work with him, which contained an iPad, personal documents, car keys and shop keys.

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She added: “It was last seen at 9pm. At 9.16pm, another worker, Miss McPhee, came to see him and said she thought a female had just taken a bag as she was leaving the ward.

“Miss McPhee said as she was walking towards the ward she challenged the woman who was looking into patients’ rooms.

“She said she was looking for someone but Miss McPhee didn’t recognise a description of what she said.

“The defendant then went to the exit.”

The worker discovered the theft moments later, with his possessions worth £800 all missing.

Tunstall later told police she sold them to a taxi driver, but would not tell them which firm. In an interview she said she was taking drugs and was homeless.

She had been taken to hospital for three days and wanted a taxi to Preston.

The court was told she has 54 convictions for 114 offences.

Defending, John Didsbury said she had “deep rooted addiction problems” and wished to receive a prison sentence of imprisonment to help to get her stabilised.

“In 2016 her offending lessened and she had some stability in her life. She was in a relationship. They had an address and were keeping out of trouble. Unfortunately he had an overdose and passed away and since that time she’s effectively been living on the street.

“She accepts herself she cannot begin to find stability while she’s at liberty because everything has been tried but without a settled address it’s not going to happen.”