Paramedic jailed for North West Ambulance Service defibrillator thefton November 12, 2021 at 4:46 pm

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Scott Sutherland stole defibrillators from the North West Ambulance Service to sell on eBay.

Scott Sutherland

Image source, Cheshire Police

A paramedic who stole thousands of pounds worth of defibrillators from an ambulance service and sold them on eBay has been jailed for three years.

Scott Sutherland stole the equipment while working at North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) in 2017 and 2018.

The 48-year-old then returned to steal more in 2020, after he had transferred to South Western Ambulance Service, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Judge David Potter said Sutherland’s “fall from grace had been spectacular”.

He had received a commendation in 2012 for his work with other paramedics to save someone’s life with the use of a defibrillator.

The judge said: “If ever there needed to be evidence of the value of defibrillator equipment, the efforts you and others put into saving that man’s life with the use of a defibrillator proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

Sutherland, who worked for NWAS from 1996 to 2019, went to ambulance stations in Bootle and Kirkby in Merseyside and in Runcorn, Cheshire, overnight on 11 February 2020, wearing a paramedic uniform and using a pin code to gain access, the court heard.

He took three defibrillators and a battery-charging pack worth a total of more than £30,000 and as a result some ambulances had to be taken off the road.

CCTV footage of Scott Sutherland

Image source, Cheshire Police

Police found emails showing he had been communicating with a man called Norbert Simon, based in the Czech Republic, about the purchase of defibrillators.

Transactions worth more than £60,000 were made between Mr Simon and Sutherland and his wife’s PayPal accounts between 2017 and 2020, the court heard.

The court heard Sutherland had several eBay accounts selling medical equipment and between 2013 and 2019 he sold more than £108,000 of goods, including two defibrillators confirmed to have been stolen from NWAS.

Sutherland, of Pearse Gardens in Modbury, Devon pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and two of burglary.

Martine Snowdon, defending, said the father-of-five had chosen a “challenging and selfless career” which put him at the “forefront” of trauma.

She said: “Over many years of doing that, not just to a competent standard but to an exceptional standard, it has taken its toll on him.”

She said Sutherland had been impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and there was evidence he and his family were in “dire straits” financially by the end of 2019.

Roger Jones, head of service for NWAS in Merseyside and Cheshire, said it was “incredibly disappointing” that a former employees “would take advantage of his position to steal these life-saving pieces of equipment”.

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