Man, 27, re-arrested on terrorism charges after suspicious package found in maternity wing at Leeds hospital

21 January 2023, 01:35 | Updated: 21 January 2023, 01:47

A 27-year-old man has been arrested
A 27-year-old man has been arrested. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Counter-terror police have re-arrested a 27-year-old man on terror charges after a suspicious package was found at a hospital in Leeds, sparking an evacuation.

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Army specialists rushed to the Gledhow Wing of St James' Hospital in Leeds on Friday morning, where a cordon was put in place as a "precautionary measure".

The wing is home to the majority of the hospital's maternity services, as well as some respiratory and bereavement services.

People were urged to avoid the entrance to the wing while the cordon remained in place, after some areas were evacuated to keep "patients and staff safe".

In an update on Friday evening, Counter Terrorism Policing North East said: "The 27-year-old man, who has remained in custody since his arrest this morning, has this evening been re-arrested under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000; on suspicion of being concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism."

The incident took place on Friday morning
The incident took place on Friday morning. Picture: Alamy
A suspicious package was found in the Gledhow Wing of St James' Hospital in Leeds
A suspicious package was found in the Gledhow Wing of St James' Hospital in Leeds. Picture: Alamy

Detective Chief Superintendent Jim Dunkerley, head of Counter Terrorism Policing North East, said: "This is being treated as an isolated incident and there is no evidence to suggest there is any heightened or ongoing risk to the public.

"Nevertheless, the UK threat level remains at Substantial and we would always encourage the public to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity or behaviour to police in confidence on 0800 789 321 or at gov.uk/ACT."

The cordon at the scene has been lifted, but searches continue to be carried out at premises in Leeds.

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In a statement, the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: "Patients are being asked to attend hospital as normal for appointments, unless they are contacted otherwise.

"Visiting for patients who are currently in Gledhow Wing and Lincoln Wing at St James's Hospital is suspended until we have more information."

The A&E department remains open.

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