Jail for thief who stole coronavirus face masks

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

A thief who stole surgical face masks from a south London hospital has been sentenced to three months behind bars.

Lerun Hussain, 34, was handed the 12 week jail term at Croydon Magistrates’ Court, where pleaded guilty to theft at a hearing yesterday.

The court heard how the defendant had been detained by security staff at King’s College Hospital after he was caught stealing three face masks at around 11.20am on Sunday.

Police were called and arrested Hussain, who is from Clapham, on suspicion of theft - he was also detained for being in breach of a court order.

Meanwhile, a doctors’ surgery in Kidderminster has urged thieves to return its only box of face masks after it was stolen from the practice.

Church Street Surgery said the protective equipment was necessary to keep the practice open after it was taken on Tuesday.

The box of protective equipment had been donated by a local dental practice the day before.

After the face masks were stolen, the surgery took to Facebook to ask for its return, saying: “We need to protect our staff to enable us to remain open.”

Since a social media appeal, the surgery said it had received a number of individual face mask donations which meant it could still continue to offer services.

In a Facebook post, the practice said it had been “totally humbled” by the publics “kindness and generosity”.

The statement continued: “The messages of support have been overwhelming, and we have received extremely generous donations of masks from individuals which now means we have enough to keep our staff safe until our official supplies arrive.

“From each and everyone of us at the practice we thank you for your generosity and your continued support during this extremely difficult and challenging time.”

West Mercia Police said they were aware of a reported theft and would be visiting the surgery.

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