Two men in court over laughing gas theft at Cromer hospital

Two men who stole canisters of laughing gas from Cromer Hospital on the 'spur of the moment' have been given community orders.

Wayne Goode, of no fixed address, and Jacob Stewart, from March in Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to causing nearly �900 of damage after they broke into the hospital on September 3 and left with five canisters of nitrous oxide.

And at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Monday they also admitted to being in possession of a small amount of cannabis in the vehicle in which they were stopped by police.

Co-defendant Nicola Scott, who was not involved in the theft of the canisters, also pleaded guilty to possession of a small quantity of cannabis.

Lisa Britten, prosecuting, described how the laughing gas had become 'popular at raves' before reading out a statement from hospital security guard Kevin Pardon.

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In it, he described how he heard 'metal clanging' from the nearby window at the hospital at around 1pm on the day of the theft.

'I could see someone with their back to me steeped over and I thought someone might be passing something to someone else,' he said, adding: 'I figured it might be gas cylinders as they've been stolen before.'

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The court heard how the trio had been living in a caravan, which they had just moved from Hunstanton to Cromer.

The prosecution said that Scott, who was found in the car with her co-defendants after police responded to calls from the hospital, had believed the two men had got out of the vehicle to go to the toilet.

Defending the two men, Gavin Cow said that the cannabis found was not of a high value and was for personal use.

He said that the defendants has put in a guilty plea at the earliest possible opportunity, and added: 'It's not a particularly sophisticated offence and it was a spur of the moment decision.'

The pair were given a 12 month community order and told to pay �100 each to help towards repairs. Scott, of no fixed address, was fined �65.

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