A NHS laptop thief, a cruel burglar and sex offender were among those who have faced justice at Teesside Crown Court.

AN IT contractor stole £12,000 worth of laptop from the NHS in a desperate attempt to clear his gambling debts.

Neil Murthick stole 27 computers which had been bought by the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic to enable staff to work safely from home.

Murthick, whose wife works as a nurse, was branded 'selfish' by a judge as he was jailed for two years and two months.

The Northern Echo: Neil MurthickNeil Murthick

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 42-year-old was brought into the trust to update and prepare computers for staff but instead he was helping himself to laptops before selling them.

Murthick, of Inglewood Close, Darlington, pleaded guilty to theft by employee.

Judge Jonathan Carroll said: "The NHS is a golden treasure of which we are intensely proud of in this country. 2020 is a year that will live on in all of our memories because of the impact of the Covid pandemic."

A SERIAL burglar is back behind bars after he was caught prowling around a family home in the early hours of the morning.

Sean Marshall stole a mobile phone and charger before being disturbed by the householder who was sleeping on the sofa while the defendant was filling up a rucksack with stolen goods.

The Northern Echo: Sean MarshallSean Marshall

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 41-year-old had also taken a kitchen knife out of a drawer and left on the worktop 'just in case he needed it' during the burglary.

The court heard how the householder used the 'find my phone app' which tracked it to the defendant's home address.

When police attended, Marshall's father said he would n o longer lie for his son and told the officers where he was. The phone was recovered from a bin at the address.

Marshall of Dobson Place, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to burglary following the incident on August 22.

Judge Jonathan Carroll jailed Marshall for three years after leaving the family devastated by the impact of the burglary, especially after he removed a kitchen knife and laid it out ready to use.

A CAREER criminal's 'mean spirited' burglary of a man's flat while he was in hospital for ten weeks has landed him in prison.

David Sam Soley, and an unnamed accomplice, ransacked the victim's flat, stealing televisions, a stereo, clothing and personal items, including his birth certificate.

The 36-year-old drug addict smashed his way into the flat in Wilshire Place, Tom Raine, Court Darlington, before stealing more than £2,700 worth of goods.

The Northern Echo: David SoleyDavid Soley

Paul Rooney, prosecuting, told Teesside Crown Court how the victim known as 'uncle' by the defendant's unnamed accomplice discovered the pair had stolen two televisions, a Sony stereo, an Armani coat and other clothing., as well as box of personal items.

Soley, of Brougham Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty to one charge of burglary following the incident on May 19 this year.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told the defendant he would need to use his time in custody to address his drug problem and warned him that it no longer possible to use his childhood as an excuse for his criminal behaviour.

Judge Carroll sentenced Soley to three years and four months in custody.

A CONVICTED sex offender is back behind bars after trying to befriend a teenage boy and failing to tell police where he was living.

James Sholder moved into a friend's home in Middlesbrough without informing the authorities after a spell of homelessness.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 31-year-old was left alone in the house on Millbrook Avenue, Middlesbrough, in August last year when the occupier went to visit family in Scotland.

Sholder, of Meath Street, Middlesbrough, who also goes by the name of Johnson, pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to notify authorities of his address and one charge of breaching his SHPO.

Judge Jonathan Carroll jailed Sholder for a total of 16 months for all four charges. He said: "You had been of no fixed abode for a period of time but there came a period of time when you were temporarily accommodated at Millbrook Avenue, you were under an obligation to notify the police of that address.