'Reckless' man jailed for wandering around hospital to 'have a look' at effect of coronavirus

2 April 2020, 20:13

The 32-year-old was caught on CCTV at Stoke Mandeville Hospital on Monday
The 32-year-old was caught on CCTV at Stoke Mandeville Hospital on Monday. Picture: PA

By Tobi Akingbade

A "reckless" man has been jailed for wandering around his local hospital to see the impact of Covid-19 before sharing pictures of his visit on Facebook.

Kierran Stevenson, was sentenced to three months in prison at Oxford Magistrates' Court after posting his exploits on Facebook.

The 32-year-old was caught on CCTV at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, near Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire, on Monday, after sharing on social media that he was going to go walk around the hospital to see the extent of the coronavirus pandemic for himself.

He shared photos on Facebook of himself at the hospital and images of the corridors as he claimed that staff were not taking safety measures seriously, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

In one post, he wrote that he was going to Asda in Stoke Mandeville before a walk around the hospital, saying: "Time to have a look with my own eyes!"

Stevenson pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance and contravening requirement as to restriction of movement during the emergency period.

As well as being jailed for the offence, he was also ordered to pay £300 compensation to the hospital trust.

Chief crown prosecutor Jaswant Narwal said: "Despite there being clear warnings about entering the hospital, Stevenson walked around the building, speaking with staff and breaching social distancing guidelines.

"His reckless behaviour was extremely distressing for staff and put them, patients and the public at risk.

"We will continue to prosecute anyone who acts irresponsibly risking harm to others during the current pandemic."

This comes after a shoplifting grandmother has denied coughing at a security guard and claiming she had the coronavirus.

Leanne Stapleton, 39, appeared via videolink at Teesside Magistrates’ Court to deny a charge of assault but admitted stealing from a B&M store in Middlesbrough on March 27 during the lockdown.

It was alleged she deliberately coughed at the security guard working at the shop in the Dundas Arcade, Middlesbrough, to try to get away.

Brett Wildridge, defending, said she “categorically denied” the assault charge and did not say the words alleged.

He said she claimed to have commented to the security guard as he detained her that he should not be within two metres of her.

Mr Wildridge said she claims to have told him: “I might get corona if we go next to each other.”

Stapleton, a grandmother-of-two from Londonderry Road, Stockton, Teesside, was remanded in custody and will stand trial before the magistrates on May 6.