Wales

Hospital worker jailed for selling NHS laptops on eBay

Neil Roberts Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption Neil Roberts was jailed for 20 months at Mold Crown Court

A hospital worker has been jailed after selling NHS laptops on eBay.

Neil Stephen Roberts, 38, was sentenced to 20 months in prison following the fraud, which was valued at £18,000.

Mold Crown Court heard the Wrexham Maelor Hospital desktop support technician, from Tanyfron, had "taken advantage of a poor auditing system".

It was originally alleged that Roberts had been responsible for a loss of £40,000 to the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Trust.

But his basis of plea, that the fraud was valued at £18,000, was accepted by the court.

The court heard that Roberts stole new laptops to sell on eBay, and installed old NHS computers at work instead.

Judge Timothy Petts rejected a suggestion that Roberts should receive a suspended sentence and said it was so serious that it had to be served immediately.

He added that it was not a victimless crime, which took money away from patient care directly.

The cost and time of the investigation itself could clearly be better spent on caring for patients, Judge Petts said.

Roberts did not admit his guilt until a month before his trial was due.

The prosecution said that procedures within Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board had been tightened up, but prior to this, "a great reliance was placed on individual trust".

Probation officer Andrew Connah said the defendant described his own behaviour as "inherently stupid".

Roberts was also concerned of the effect a prison sentence would have on his daughter.

He admitted that between June 2013 and March 2017 he dishonestly abused his position.

Andrew Green, defending, said that the money lost in the fraud would be recouped from the defendant's NHS Pension.

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