A concerned friend was caught by police harbouring an escaped mental patient who is undergoing a transgender transformation.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, January 26, how Ben Faulkner, 23, of Kirkstone Road, Chesterfield, had visited his friend at Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s Hartington Ward when the patient fled and was later found at Faulkner’s home.
Prosecuting solicitor Rod Chapman said: “Faulkner’s friend was subject to detention at a mental health hospital and he indicated he was unhappy and wanted to leave.
“As the defendant and his partner were present the patient did leave the hospital and an alarm was raised.
“Police visited Faulkner’s address the following day and when he was asked if the patient was there he said no but an officer found the patient hiding behind a sofa.”
Faulkner told police his friend had arrived at his home just 30 minutes before the officer arrived and he apologised for telling the officer that his friend was not at his home.
The defendant, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to harbouring an escaped patient from a mental institution after the incident on December 30, last year.
Defence solicitor Steve Brint said Faulkner’s friend is a female undergoing a transgender process which will last a year and is living as a man and the situation has been him affecting greatly.
Mr Brint said Faulkner’s friend has been living as a man and has been receiving ridicule.
The transgender patient pushed Faulkner’s partner to the floor and walked out of the hospital during the escape, according to Mr Brint, and there were concerns for his safety.
Mr Brint said Faulkner had told his friend he should stay at the hospital and when he turned up at his home he intended to give him breakfast and talk him into returning to the ward.
Magistrates, who told Faulkner he had been misguided and foolish, sentenced him to a 12 month conditional discharge.
Faulkner was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.