QA contractor stole syringe and bit guard

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HOSPITAL contractor and drug user Neil Blackman could face jail for stealing used syringes and biting a security guard.

The alarm was raised when he was spotted by staff acting suspiciously in the intensive care area at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth, at 4pm on December 22.

Although Blackman was employed as a contractor by Carillion, he had not been due in at work that day, and had worn his uniform in a bid to be able to move freely without attracting suspicion. When he was stopped on the same floor by security staff, the 46-year-old denied having anything sharp on him.

But Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard that when he was searched, security guard Gareth Fagan found a syringe in his trouser pocket. He had taken the used syringe from a hazardous waste bin in a theatre.

Giving evidence, Mr Fagan said: ‘He didn’t say anything at first, he was just laughing. He was very sweaty, giggling.

‘We had a few problems in the hospital that we had been monitoring, and the area we knew he had been through, we knew there were needles and syringes.’

When Blackman, of Redlands Lane in Fareham, was told the police would be called, he became agitated, and began trying to throw off the guards holding his arms.

It eventually took five guards and a nurse to hold Blackman down and get handcuffs on him.

It was during this scuffle that Mr Fagan was bitten on his arm.

Mr Fagan told the incident had been dealt with ‘by the book’, and correct questions and warnings had been given at every step.

Colin Shackle, prosecuting said: ‘He knew full well the implications of being found with a stolen syringe, he will lose his job, so he tries to brazen it out. But things suddenly go from brazening it out to “I’m in trouble here”.’

In his police interview, Blackman told how he was ‘four days into opiate withdrawal’.

Blackman was found guilty of assaulting Mr Fagan. He had pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at an earlier hearing.

Magistrates asked probation to complete reports on Blackman, and told him they are keeping all options, including custody, open.

Sentencing is on March 22.