A THIEF who stole items from a terminally-ill patient while they were in hospital has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Neil Brake, of no fixed abode, admitted to heft from a shop, racially aggravated harassment, theft of a bicycle, burglary non- dwelling and burglary dwelling.

He also admitted to two counts each of fraud by false representation and theft from a person and he was charged on August 3.

The 21-year-old committed the offences between June 22 and July 22 this year and was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on September 26.

On one occasion during a shoplifting incident, Brake was racially abusive towards a member of staff who confronted him.

The court also heard how Brake entered a hospital in Reading and stole items from a terminally-ill patient and then used bank cards belonging to the patient.

Detective constable Alan Pearcy, of the Investigation Hub at Reading police station, said: “Brake has been convicted of multiple offences after pleading guilty to the overwhelming evidence against him.

“Thames Valley Police will robustly investigate dishonesty offences and offenders should expect a substantial prison sentence.”