Police are appealing for your help in finding a man who is wanted in connection with an incident at East Surrey Hospital last week.
Tobe Hayden Leigh, 45, of Maidstone, Kent, is wanted in connection with a public nuisance offence following an incident at the hospital last Thursday (21 January), and a report we received on Saturday (23 January), in relation to social media posts which included videos and abusive comments towards hospital staff.
On investigation, these posts related to an earlier incident at the hospital on Thursday 21 January when a number of people, some of whom were not wearing masks, gained access to the critical care ward to visit a family member and were abusive towards hospital staff when they were asked to do so. They also refused to leave. Officers attended and issued fines to two individuals involved for breaching covid restrictions and issued a breach of the peace warning which resulted in the group leaving the location.
East Surrey Detective Chief Inspector Kimball Edey said: “We would like to speak to Hayden Leigh in connection with this incident, and the escalating abusive and threatening comments being made towards hospital staff on social media. These comments are extremely concerning, and are obviously causing considerable distress for those who are being targeted.
“The staff at the hospital, as are all NHS workers, are trying to care for desperately ill people in extremely challenging circumstances, and to be targeted and abused on social media in this way is simply unacceptable.”
Det Ch Insp Edey continued: “We also need to track Hayden Leigh down as a matter of urgency due to the public health risk he poses. He came into close proximity with a patient who remains seriously ill with covid and may well have contracted the virus himself.
“We are appealing for any information and any help we can get from the public to find this man so that we can deal with him appropriately.”