Hazardous human body parts and prescription drugs were left to rot in a mothballed compound for nearly a year until they were found by two burglars.
Operators of the site in Longbenton, North Tyneside, lost their contract with the
Barry Watson, 36, and Jamie Pollard, 40, uncovered the ‘beyond belief’ scandal when they broke into the compound two days in a row to steal medication that was lying round.
They became intoxicated and had to be decontaminated because of the biohazard they had been exposed to, which included body parts and cannulars.
Operators of the site in Longbenton, North Tyneside, lost their contract with the NHS and went bankrupt so just left the waste rather than disposing of it.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the site had previously been run by Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd and was being monitored by CCTV by Orbis Security.
But Watson and Pollard simply forced a shutter to get into the compound on September 6, returning the following day to get more drugs.
The court heard a security officer who saw the intruders on the first occasion attended and came across them crawling out from under the shutters and they tried to run off.
Barry Robson, prosecuting, said: ‘He could see they were carrying a plastic bag with what he believed to be prescription drugs.
Barry Watson, 36, (left) snd Jamie Pollard, 40, (right) uncovered the ‘beyond belief’ scandal when they broke into the compound two days in a row to steal medication that was lying round. They became intoxicated and had to be decontaminated because of the biohazard they had been exposed to, which included body parts and cannulars
‘He ran after them and shouted at them to stop but they didn’t.
‘Watson turned at one point and swung a punch towards him which missed and Pollard shouted ”Just do him”.
‘The security guard let them escape because he feared for his safety.’
The next morning at around 9.40am the pair broke into the compound again.
This time, police attended and spotted Pollard fleeing through a hole in a fence. He was arrested after a chase on foot and appeared intoxicated.
The fire service were called out due to the biohazard and found Watson on a mezzanine surrounded by tablet containers.
Mr Robson said: ‘Because of the biohazard, both men had to be decontaminated before going to hospital.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the site had previously been run by Healthcare Environmental Services Ltd and was being monitored by CCTV by Orbis Security
‘Various pictures were taken of the premises showing the site had a lot of prescription drugs lying around in buckets and blister packs which were easily accessible to people who breached the security.’
Watson, of Whitley Bay, who has 40 previous convictions and Pollard, also of Whitley Bay, both admitted two counts of burglary.
Due to the fact they have spent four months in prison on remand, they were sentenced to six months suspended for 18 months with a community order.
Tony Hawks, for Watson, said: ‘How these drugs were allowed to be stored in this area is beyond me.
‘He says he initially came across the site by accident when hiding from people intent on violence.’
Mr Hawks added: ‘He is a man whose story is depressingly familiar. He has a poor record and has essentially ruined his life through the abuse of illicit drugs, principally heroin latterly and his offending pattern is inextricably linked to that.
‘He is committed to try to turn his life around but finds it difficult when operating in the outside world to follow through on the commitment he now exhibits.’
Vic Laffey, for Pollard, said: ‘The company who ran this compound, Healthcare Environmental Services, towards the end of 2018 lost the contract with the NHS and by December 2018 had gone into liquidation and this compound stood empty for nearly a year.
‘It doesn’t take much research to see there were dozens of large bin liners in the yard.
‘Quite how this situation developed is beyond belief, quite frankly.
‘On entering the premises, it seems that outdated prescription drugs were freely available and lying around and they went back the second day because of that.’
Mr Laffey added that Pollard, who has a child, has not wasted his time on remand and has completed courses.