Hospital worker jailed for stealing from patient

Sophie McGarry. P'icture: Ross Parry Agency
Sophie McGarry. P'icture: Ross Parry Agency

A disgraced former Scarborough Hospital healthcare assistant has been jailed for six month for stealing a £2,000 gold coin from a patient.

Sophie McGarry, 22, admitted to stealing the Krugerrand coin along with other jewellery from Chestnut Ward.

Her trial heard how she tried to pass off the theft when initially confronted - as the victim was just an “alcoholic druggy”.

She initially denied stealing the gold chain and bracelet but admitted the allegations when she appeared at York Crown Court on Wednesday.

McGarry was originally charged with 13 counts of stealing from patents, staff and visitors on various wards at the hospital, but denied all but one of these. The denied matters were then dropped by the CPS, due to lack of evidence. McGarry’s former partner Liam Andrews, 25, was also found guilty of handling former goods following a two-day trial earlier this year.

Andrews, of East Bank in Burnley, sold the bracelet for £360 to a Lancashire jewellers.

Police carried out checks at the jewellers and officers eventually found that a gold bracelet had been bought by an unsuspecting pawnbroker in Bacup.

When confronted by his brother, Wayne, about this, Andrews said he had owned the jewellery for five years before selling it, but denied ever seeing a Krugerrand ring.

At Teesside Crown Court today McGarry was jailed for six months for her part in the thefts.
Andrews will find out his fate on December 10.

At McGarry’s trial in October prosecutor Laurie Scott said that following McGarry’s arrest, another witness came forward who was a friend of the couple when they lived in a flat in Norton.

She told police she once heard the couple arguing about a gold belcher chain.

She said that on another occasion, Andrews told her he had hidden a Krugerrand ring in a wall cavity behind a light switch as an “insurance policy”.

The witness told the court she could not corroborate the statement she gave police because she had since suffered a serious head injury.

He had denied ever being in possession of the Krugerrand coin, chain or bracelet but his brother said he’d seen him with the jewellery.

Before the other charges were dropped, McGarry, of Howe Road, faced a trial of evidence to establish what exactly she’d pinched.

However, that’s now been scrapped.

A spokesperson from York Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our security team worked closely with the police to assist with their investigations and help secure a conviction.

“We would like to reassure patients and staff that creating a safe environment remains our top priority.”

The trust also confirmed that McGarry was dismissed from her role last July.