A driver stole more than £1,200-worth of ambulance service clothing – after apparently finding it in a shed.

Perry Granville, 43, was said to have felt ‘in some way entitled’ to the uniform, as he was working as a driver moving ambulances around.

Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard the Abingdon man was ‘somewhat unclear’ about how the clothing and equipment, which had an estimated value of £1,238 and included a stethoscope and a helmet, came into his possession.

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But in a ‘stand down’ pre-sentence report delivered verbally to the court, the duty probation officer said: “He has chosen to accept he was the person who took them and that was unlawful.”

The theft, which was committed while Granville was working as a driver transporting ambulances during the pandemic, came more than two years after he received a suspended sentence for hoarding ladies’ underwear. One of his victims had ‘thought she was going mad’ when her underwear kept going missing.

Sentencing him to an 18-month community order, District Judge Kamlesh Rana said: “In sentencing you today I give you credit for your guilty plea, I take into account that you made admissions in respect of the offence at the first available opportunity and your sentence has been reduced to reflect that.

“But I also take into account what makes this offence worse is the significant number and nature of the items that you stole belong to the emergency services and the potential impact that could have had on the availability and deployment of those services.

“I am also very concerned this posed a risk of you posing as a member of those services and that is what aggravates the offence before me today.”

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In mitigation, it was said Granville had no intention of pretending to be a paramedic or ambulance technician.

He had found the items in a shed where he was working and had helped himself. He claimed not to have been given any ‘suitable’ clothing to wear and some of his colleagues – who were not employed by South Central Ambulance Service – had worn branded ambulance service beanie hats.

‘In hindsight’ he realised he had taken a ‘large’ number of items and he wanted to apologise for his actions, his solicitor said.

Granville had lost his job when the thefts came to light. He was now paid £100 a week to work informally as his elderly mother’s carer. He was single, lived with his parents and did not claim benefits, the court heard.

The defendant, of Andersey Way, Abingdon, pleaded guilty to theft. He was given an 18-month community order, with 200 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He must pay £500 in compensation to South Central Ambulance Service.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward