Parents face jail for stealing laptops from the cancer ward where their terminally ill son was being treated – and … – Daily Mail
The parents of a terminally ill boy are facing jail after stealing laptops from the cancer ward where he was treated, before trying to blame the thefts on their son.
Kim Ager, 34, and Matthew Ingham, 37, claimed their sick son Callum, now 10, who suffers with neuroblastoma, had taken the items while undergoing treatment for cancer.
But the pair, from Keighley, West Yorkshire, are now facing jail after the judge blasted them for ‘lying throughout’ the court case.
Kim Ager (left) and Matthew Ingham (right) are facing jail after stealing laptops from the cancer ward where their terminally-ill son was treated, before trying to blame him for the thefts
The court was told how Ingham stole the laptops from the bedsides of ill children at Leeds General Infirmary before Ager sold them on Facebook, bragging she could ‘get as many as you like’.
At the time, Callum was being treated for the cancer, which attacks the central nervous system, on Ward 31 of the hospital.
Warning them they face jail, District Judge Susan Bouch branded the couple’s account as ‘incredible’, adding: ‘I don’t believe anything that you tell me.’
She added: ‘The impact of the thefts is more significant than their value. After their theft they were not available for the children to use.
‘They were attached to hospital beds by a charity for your child and others to use in hospital.’
Callum was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2013 and had to spend 11 day stints in LGI following chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy.
At the time, both Ingham and Ager were unemployed and claimed income support, disability allowance for Callum, child benefit and child tax credit.
Generous members of the public, moved by Callum’s story, helped raise more than £20,000 on his JustGiving page.
But the court was told how, in July last year, four Toshiba laptops, two HD Livestreaming equipment and a patient’s mobile phone were discovered to have been stolen from the ward.
At the time, their ten-year-old son Callum (pictured with his father) see mark above was being treated for the cancer, which attacks the central nervous system, on Ward 31 of Leeds Royal Infirmary
The court was told how, in July last year, four Toshiba laptops, two HD livestreaming equipment and a patient’s mobile phone were discovered to have been stolen from the ward at Leeds Royal Infirmary (pictured)
The computer equipment had been donated by the Candlelighters Charity.
Police then discovered the laptops had been sold via Facebook by Ager. It emerged she had taken them back to the family home in a suitcase before loading them online.
But Ingham denied the theft, insisting in court that Callum had used scissors to cut the laptops from the bedsides of cancer-stricken children. He claimed he had then put them in a suitcase to sneak them out of the hospital.
He was subsequently found guilty of theft following a trial at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.
Ager, who fought back tears as she learned of her possible jail term, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods worth £3,234 but claimed Ingham had hacked her account to sell them on for £50.
The couple, who have split since the offences, now face more than two years’ imprisonment and have been committed for sentencing to Leeds Crown Court.
Their four children have since been taken into foster care.
After the case Jo Shepheard, the director of Candlelighters, said each child on Ward 31 had been supplied with a laptop donated by the charity, which was chained to their beds.
‘There was one laptop per bed, which allows them to keep in touch with their families at home and entertain and educate themselves,’ said Miss Shepheard.
‘This case is really sad. The charity works really hard providing all we can. These are not from the NHS, these are bought from generous donations from the public.’
The pair are due to be sentenced on February 24.