Bolton: Amazon worker stole iPhones to fund operation

A man stole thousands of pounds worth of iPhones from Amazon in a desperate bid to fund his medical treatment after being attacked by terrorists.

Masuud Abdullah, 27, had escaped to Bolton after his arms was injured by terrorists in his homeland of Somalia.

But Bolton Crown Court heard how he had turned to stealing iPhones from his employers at the Amazon warehouse on Bridgewater Avenue, Logistics North complex,  to fund private medical treatment after finding himself stuck on NHS waiting lists.

Alistair Reid, prosecuting, said: “There’s nothing more sophisticated than that but these matters were identified when the items were not found where they were supposed to be.”

The Bolton News: The Amazon warehouseThe Amazon warehouse (Image: Amazon)

Mr Reid told the court how Abdullah, of Buckley Lane, was employed at the Amazon warehouse at the time he committed the offences

He had stolen seven iPhones on four separate incidents between December 2021 and March 2022 by scanning them and hiding them under his jacket.

Mr Reid explained that Abdullah stole a total of £7,223 worth of phones over this period but was caught on CCTV and handed himself in to Bolton Central Police Station on July 11.

He pleaded guilty to theft at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court on September 21.

Mr Reid argued that ‘an element of planning had been involved’ but accepted that the crimes were not hugely complex.

But the court heard from Sean Sullivan, defending, how Abdullah’s crimes were driven ‘more by desperation than dishonesty.

Mr Sullivan told the court how Abdullah’s arm had been injured by terrorists in his homeland which left him in need of surgery.

Abdullah had turned to theft after being stuck waiting for an NHS operation and after he had failed to raise enough money for private treatment from legitimate loans due to a poor credit rating.

He explained that his client had no previous convictions, has previously been a man of ‘good character’ and would normally describe himself as being ‘a man with a strong work ethic.’

Mr Sullivan said: “This is a case driven by a man not who is dishonest but a man who was desperate and, rather regretfully, took the wrong option.”

But according to Mr Sullivan, Abdullah accepted full responsibility for his actions, as shown by his guilty plea, which he entered at the earliest possible opportunity.

Mr Sullivan argued thay Abdullah now ‘fully accepts that this was wrong’ and ‘bitterly regrets’ his actions.

Judge Tom Gilbart accepted that Abdullah had shown real remorse for his actions and that the thefts were ‘genuinely out of character.’

He also acknowledged that as well as his physical injury, the defendant had been profoundly affected psychologically by the conflict in Somalia.

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Judge Gilbart said: “What you witnessed there is quite appalling.”

He added: “You seem to have embarked on your criminality as part of a foolish plan to raise money for an operation for yourself.”

Judge Gilbart sentenced Abdullah to a 12 month community order with a requirement to complete 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Abdullah was also made subject to a curfew monitored by electronic tag for two months between 7pm and 7am.

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