Southampton man jailed for theft from hospital where he was employed
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A Southampton man has been sentenced following a sustained period of theft from the hospital where he worked.
Paul James Winwright, 40, of Castle Malwood in Lyndhurst, appeared at Southampton Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 23 November) having previously pleaded guilty to theft by an employee and non-dwelling burglary.
The court heard how between April 2021 and June 2022 Winwright stole a large quantity, of an unknown value, of the medical grade anaesthetic Propofol from Southampton General Hospital, where he was employed as an anaesthetist.
It was heard how a large quantity of Propofol, which is not available on prescription and is used as a medical grade drug only, was located at Winwright’s address in April 2022 and seized by police.
Two months later, on 29 June 2022, officers stopped a car driving erratically on the A34 near to Sutton Scotney. Winwright was arrested as the driver of the vehicle and a search was carried out under Section 32 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. Syringes and a large quantity of empty, used and full bottles of Propofol were seized from the car.
Winwright’s mobile phone was seized and analysed as part of the investigation into the discovery and various notes were found in which he had written about the fact that he had stolen Propofol from the hospital and injected himself with it, on some occasions while a young child was in his care outside of work.
Following an extensive and complex investigation Winwright was charged with theft by an employee, neglect and engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour.
He pleaded guilty at a hearing at Southampton Crown Court on October 18 2023 and has now been sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Police Staff Investigator Jade Elkins, who led the investigation, said: “Winwright’s behaviour showed a complete disregard for those around him and those entrusted to his care. His sustained period of theft has had an unnecessary and significant impact on our valued National Health Service and I am pleased that he will now face the consequences of his actions while receiving the support he needs.
“There was a very real risk that Winwright’s behaviour would have seriously harmed either himself or those around him, on top of the harm and impact already caused, if it continued.
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to the victims of Winwright’s neglect and coercive and controlling behaviour for telling us what had happened to them and for their support throughout the investigation and court process. Without their courage we would not have secured this outcome.
“I want other people out there are suffering abuse in silence to please report this to police. We are here for you and will listen, but if you don’t want to speak to a police officer there are independent support services out there that can give you the help you need.
“I would also like to thank the investigation team who have worked hard to secure this outcome and bring Winwright before the courts.”