The man with a phone up his bottom

Doctors were astonished to find a career criminal they were treating for a road accident had a phone rammed up his bottom, a court heard.

Tommy Puhlhoffer, 32, is a traveller who has spent his life stealing and breaking into homes.

As a child he was described as a modern day ‘Oliver Twist’ after he squeezed into houses through the catflap and was first jailed at the age of 12.

Puhlhoffer was jailed for seven years in 2009 for a series of street robberies on wealthy women, then given another three years in 2015 for a knifepoint mugging and a bag snatch.

He was admitted to King’s College Hospital in September this year suffering from serious injuries after he was run over.

As Puhlhoffer was being X-rayed the radiologist spotted a full size mobile phone deep in his rectum.

Doctors suspected it must have been stolen and notified the police.

Puhlhoffer then hurled racial abuse at Asian police officers when he was not allowed to leave his bed, Inner London Crown Court heard.

Describing how Puhlhoffer was caught for his latest offences prosecutor Denise Murrin said: ‘When an X-ray revealed something concealed in his rectum he was arrested on suspicion of theft.

‘He was told he couldn’t go outside because he was under arrest and was also in police protection.’

Puhlhoffer said he called an Asian officer ‘a lanky c**t’ and yelled: ‘You’re a Muslim terrorist. Don’t stand by the window you’ll blow it up.’

The prosecutor continued: ‘He tried to leave the bed and the defendant said he would kick the officer and would show him what would happen if someone touched him.’

Puhlhoffer scratched and dug his teeth into the officer’s left hand twice and threatened to pass on the HIV virus.

Ms Murrin continued: ‘The defendant began to scratch at his left hand and repeatedly dug his nails onto his left hand.

‘His teeth touched his hands on two occasions.

‘There was blood dripping from the officer’s his left hand. He went to the bathroom and washed his hands with cold water.

‘The defendant had made threats that he was HIV positive.

‘He said, “I’ve got HIV. I’ve got AIDS.”

Puhlhoffer lashed out on two other occasions after being transferred to another hospital where he received leg surgery.

Describing one incident, the prosecutor said: ‘He ripped a cannula out of his arm causing blood to start squirting out of his arm rapidly.

‘He grabbed the blood and began throwing it at the officer.’

Ms Murrin said Puhlhoffer yelled: “I hope you get HIV! My mother has it, I have it, and I hope you get it!” before fainting on the floor.

‘He was asked about the racial comment made to the officers and he said in interview he wasn’t racist and said he was a Muslim himself and had been so for 10 years.

‘He said he didn’t recall anything because he had a mental breakdown.’

Puhlhoffer had led police on chase through Hammersmith after he was caught stealing a black Volvo worth over £29,000 on 13 February.

Footage showed the Volvo slamming on the brakes in an attempt to get the police cars to collide with the 4×4.

Puhlhoffer then deliberately reversed into the police car.

The prosecutor said: ‘The vehicle accelerated hard while it was driving through the residential streets.

‘He slammed on the brake in the middle of the road.

‘He reversed and mounted police cars several times.’

Puhlhoffer crashed into Queen’s Tennis Club in West Kensington where he crashed into the police car and was arrested.

Ms Murrin added: ‘He was searched and in his pocket a knife described as a lock knife was found.’

Fadi Daoud, defending, said Puhlhoffer had been deliberately run over.

‘The history to that is, because he has a partner, she is a mixed raced young lady and she is pregnant with his child, there is a barrage of abuse that he suffers from the community.

‘He comes from a traveller background.

‘Effectively somebody tries to run him over and does a good job, breaking his tibia and fibula.

‘He is pumped with drugs that have an adverse affect on him.

‘He feels that he is under threat.

‘He behaves in a way that he only knows how because he feels like he has to defend his position.’

Judge Jeremy Donne told Puhlhoffer: ‘On 4 September you were in hospital after what appears to be a deliberate running down.

‘A number of police officers were with you in hospital.

‘An object was found concealed in your body.

‘You became extremely aggressive and abusive in particular against officer PC Chahal.

‘You dug your fingernails into his hand, breaking the skin.’

‘We then move to the 10th of September by which time you moved to St Thomas Hospital, the earlier offences having taken place at King’s College Hospital.

‘The officer tried to restrain you and you punched him twice on his leg, you pulled a cannula off your arm, you gathered some of the blood and threw it at them.

‘Next on the 12 September, this time you were moved to University College Hospital, a number of police officers were present, you directed abuse to PC Lu, you hurled vile abuse at him.

‘You kicked out at officers.

Referring to the February incident the judge said: ‘You drove off down the streets.

‘Because of the police pursuit you tried to evade the police you did so initially by breaking really hard and on more than one occasion and ramming into the police vehicle, the Volvo riding up the police car causing some significant damage.

‘Ending up in the grounds of Queen’s tennis club.

‘In an attempt to manoeuvre at speed the police car crashed into a bollard and into a parked car.

‘You were arrested.

‘A lock knife was found in your pocket.

‘The cost of what you have done is considerable , the vehicle was written off, the owner did not receive the full value of it.

‘The damage to the police vehicle was not quantified, but quite obviously the damage was considerable.

‘You have an extremely lengthy and an extremely bad record.’

Puhlhoffer, dressed in a green t-shirt and of no fixed address, admitted three counts of harassment and seven counts of assault by beating an emergency worker.

He also admitted theft, dangerous driving, driving without insurance, possessing a bladed article and breaching of a suspended sentence.

He was sent to jail for three years and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190.

The owner of the phone has not been traced and no-one has come forward to claim it.