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Monday, Jan 18, 2021

Man breaks into cancer ward and downs two bottles of sanitiser before falling asleep on hospital bed

A man broke into a hospital cancer ward, drank two bottles of alcohol sanitiser, urinated on the floor, threw up and pulled down a curtain to use as a blanket.
David Dudley Miller was found slumped on a bed the next day by a horrified cleaner at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby.

Miller, 39, of no fixed address, apologised to all of the staff at the hospital when he appeared in court.

He said he had such a problem with alcohol that he needed help and if he walked out of court, he would go and steal some.

The court heard the hard-pressed NHS would be left with a £500 bill during the coronavirus crisis at a time when it was facing "financial pressure and difficulty".

Kate Fairburn, prosecuting, told Grimsby Magistrates' Court that Miller had caused problems at the hospital many times before and was well known to security guards as a nuisance.

Police were called and he was removed from the hospital and left but, at 9pm, he returned and entered the area again.

He tried to get into the staff-only entrance of the oncology department below the Pink Rose suite.

The next day, a cleaner arrived at the Pink Rose suite to work and noticed a strong smell of urine in the walk down the corridor to two clinic rooms.

There was urine under a bed and empty alcohol sanitiser bottles.

Miller was lying on a bed facing a window and a curtain rail had been pulled down from the ceiling and urine was on the floor.

There were two empty alcohol gel bottles.

"She went to get security," said Miss Fairburn.

They quickly realised that it was Miller and the police were alerted.

It would cost £400 to replace the railing and the curtain and cleaning was needed to tidy up the bodily fluids found, including urine and vomit, as well as gel and milk.

It cost hundreds of pounds every time equipment was damaged for cancer patients.

It was not known how Miller managed to get into that area of the hospital the previous day.

He admitted that he entered by pushing open a door and that his intention was to steal currently much-needed alcohol gel because he was an alcoholic.

He remembered drinking two bottles after taking them from a fridge.

"He pulled the curtain rail down deliberately because he wanted to use it as a blanket because he was cold," said Miss Fairburn.

Miller denied deliberately urinating but admitted that he had probably done so in his sleep.

He admitted that he had been sick and that the vomit included blood.

He drank the sanitiser and milk. He admitted that he had deprived the hospital of property and that he was wrong to get the alcohol gel into his system.

He went to the hospital because he had nowhere else to go.

"If he was released, he would go and steal alcohol again because he needs it to get by," said Miss Fairburn.

He had been jailed for three years in 2015 for dishonesty matters.

Miller told the court from custody: "I need help. I want to stop drinking. I know that if I left here, I would try to steal alcohol.

"I have had seizures in the past. I apologise for what I have done but it was an act of desperation.

"I apologise to all the staff and I have said that it was wrong and I was sorry."

District judge Daniel Curtis told Miller that the alcohol gel was necessary to ensure people's safety while they were working during the current pandemic crisis caused by coronavirus.

People could not currently attend the cancer ward because of the situation and the damage caused by Miller would cost £400 to £500 for the NHS that was under increasing financial pressure and difficulty.

"You have targeted the hospital and you are a constant nuisance there," said Mr Curtis.

"You found a weak spot in the hospital's security and got in there.

"You have caused damage and left sick, bodily fluid and urine.

"It's not pleasant for anybody to have to come in and clean up that and then they found you slumped on one of the cancer wards.

"It's quite apparent that you are a desperate alcoholic who gave very little thought to the consequences of your actions."

Miller was jailed for 20 weeks.
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