A 20-year-old man was committed to a young offenders’ institute after stealing £500 of Entonox from an ambulance while it was dealing with an emergency.
Christopher Ingram, of Peterhouse Close, Mildenhall, appeared before Bury Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday on two charges of theft from a motor vehicle, after taking Entonox cylinders and an oxygen cylinder from an ambulance.
Judge David Cooper said it was a ‘wretched’ crime to steal from an ambulance which was trying to save a life.
Ingram, who pleaded guilty to both charges, was committed to a youth offenders’ institute for 42 days for each of the two charges to run concurrently.
Prosecuting, Sarah-Jane Atkins said the ambulance had attended a 999 call to deal with a woman having an asthma attack at about 5am on April 23.
“All the equipment was correct and in order, the paramedic treated the lady in her home and when he returned to the ambulance the Entonox cylinder and oxygen cylinder were missing,” said Miss Atkins.
She said a witness saw a man take something from the ambulance and put it in a nearby driveway. Police later recovered the equipment from the driveway.
Lyndon Davis, in mitigation, said Ingram had been drinking and added that ‘in this case, at least it (the equipment) was recovered’.
The court was told that Entonox is commonly used as laughing gas.
“Unfortunately, it has become the drug of choice,” said Miss Atkins.
Ingram initially denied the theft offences when questioned by police, but later pleaded guilty to both.
He was also dealt with for breaching a conditional discharge and was re-sentenced for the original offences of stealing two bottles of Malibu from Mildenhall Co-op, stealing a Nintendo Wii from someone in Mildenhall, and failing to surrender to custody.
He was given 42 days in a youth offenders’ institute for each charge, which will run concurrently to the Entonox theft sentence.