Healthcare assistant in court on 14 charges

Nurse Sophie McGarry turning up for the hearing at Scarborough Magistrates on Wednesday. She's alleged to have stolen from Scarborough Hospital patients.

Nurse Sophie McGarry turning up for the hearing at Scarborough Magistrates on Wednesday. She's alleged to have stolen from Scarborough Hospital patients.

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A Scarborough Hospital worker has appeared in court to face allegations that she stole gold jewellery and cash from patients.

Healthcare assistant Sophie McGarry, 21, faces claims she took items including a gold Krugerrand coin, a chain and bracelet from patients at the hospital over a seven-month period.

She was flanked by her parents at the brief afternoon hearing yesterday, in which the prosecution claimed she stole several thousand pounds worth of goods.

She will now appear at York Crown Court next month over the accusations, which include claims she stole rings from the hospital as well as three cigarettes.

The charges relate to allegations of theft across the Graham, Chestnut and the Ann Wright wards, as well as the Stroke Unit.

In total, she faces 13 counts of theft by finding, along with a charge of theft in dwelling other than an automatic machine or meter from a property in Lisvane Rise.

At Wednesday’s hearing, McGarry appeared alongside Burnley man Liam Andrews, who is alleged to have handled an £1,100 bracelet the Crown Prosecution Service claim McGarry stole.

And McGarry, of Howe Road, remained largely silent through the hearing, her hands clasped as she gazed at the bench, speaking only to confirm her details.

And her solicitor Mr Harbison said that she wouldn’t enter a plea ahead of the next hearing in York on July 7.

Co-defendant Andrews, 24, entered a not guilty plea to his sole charge of handling stolen goods.

Both defendants will appear together at the York hearing, with McGarry on conditional bail until then.

Andrews, of Bracewell Street, was granted unconditional bail.

The healthcare assistant was first arrested in November 2013 then bailed, before she was arrested again as subsequent charges came to light.

She is currently suspended from her role at Scarborough Hospital pending both the outcome of the court case, and an internal NHS probe.

Since the allegations came to light, the York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has sought to reassure patients, claiming that their safety is its “top priority”.

A trust spokesperson added: “We would like to reassure patients and staff that creating a safe environment remains our top priority.

“We are unable to comment further until after the court hearing.”