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Contractor stole and sold laptops supplied to Princess Alexandra Hospital staff working during Covid-19 pandemic

A man working at Princess Alexandra Hospital stole laptops which had been provided for staff to use during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Francisco Maya was working at the Harlow hospital as a contractor in May and June 2020 when several laptops were ordered to support the work of employees.

The 37-year-old, from Dagenham, took as many as 20 of the computers over two months, leaving the boxes they arrived in at the hospital to avoid being detected.

Francisco Maya stole up to 20 laptops
Francisco Maya stole up to 20 laptops

He then sold several of them online. When the serial numbers were checked by the new owners, the manufacturer was alerted that they were stolen.

Maya was arrested in July 2020 and pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft. Following a three-day trial at Chelmsford Crown Court in April this year he was found guilty, and last Friday (July 5) at the same court he was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

PC Rhianna Mills, of Essex Police, who led the investigation, said: “While NHS doctors, nurses and staff were busy trying to help the nation at a time of crisis, Maya was helping himself to vital equipment they needed to keep the hospital working in the pandemic.

“Throughout this investigation and trial he showed no remorse for his crime. He can now reflect on his behaviour from prison.”

Phil Holland, chief information officer at the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT), said: “This IT equipment was extremely important to facilitate the care of our patients and to deliver hospital services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We take any incidents of stealing from our hospitals extremely seriously and this will not be tolerated. Our thanks goes to Essex Police for their support.”

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