Category: Lessingham

Reference Library – Lessingham

Nothing To Do With Arbroath: Teenager obsessed with medical …

A teenager with an obsession for medical equipment has been spared jail after he admitted stealing a town centre defibrillator. Callum Howitt, 19, called the ambulance service on June 27 this year 1 claiming someone had suffered a cardiac arrest before requesting the PIN to be able to access the life-saving equipment, worth 1,900, in North Walsham, Norfolk. Paramedics were sent to the scene but could not find anyone.

They discovered the defibrillator, which had been paid for by money raised by the town council, businesses and organisations, was missing. Howitt was captured on CCTV at the time of the call and was with a young woman who received electronic messages from the defendant stating he had taken the defibrillator. Norwich Magistrates Court heard the woman, who did not realise he had stolen the equipment, was horrified.

In her statement she said: I think what Callum has done is really wrong. Defibrillators are there to save people s lives and by taking the defibrillator he s put someone s life at risk. Oliver Haswell, prosecuting, who described it as a very unusual case , said the consequences of Howitt s actions could have been tragic adding that ambulance service time was also wasted in attending.

Mr Haswell said Howitt had acquired a huge amount of medical paraphernalia and had some form of obsession with such equipment . He said admissions were made to the defendant s mother who contacted the police and has since looked to give back other items he had acquired. On Friday Howitt, of Lessingham, admitted stealing the defibrillator, which has since been recovered although is damaged.

Rob Pollington, for Howitt, said his client had an immense number of vulnerabilities , was on the autistic spectrum and suffered from ADHD. He said: He can t give a valid, even a decent reason as to why he s got here. He just can t tell me why.

Mr Pollington said it was linked to his behavioural issues and need to seek out medical paraphernalia that had led him down this path. He added he had been deeply affected by what he had done and and felt he had let himself down and his family down . District Judge Peter Veits, who said it was clear Howitt had some sort of obsession with medical equipment 2 told him the offence had the potential for disaster .

He said: Defibrillators are there to try and save someone s life. Howitt was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay 300 compensation for the damage. He was also given a 15 surcharge and made to pay 85 costs and a 180 court charge.

References ^ called the ambulance service on June 27 this year (www.edp24.co.uk) ^ said it was clear Howitt had some sort of obsession with medical equipment (www.northnorfolknews.co.uk)