Healthcare worker at Leeds medical practice forged prescriptions to get thousands of pounds of controlled drugs

Lincoln Green Medical Centre
Lincoln Green Medical Centre

A healthcare assistant forged prescriptions at the medical practice where she worked in order to obtain thousands of pounds worth of controlled drugs..

Jolene Humphrey was able to reprint patient prescriptions at Lincoln Green Medical Centre and forge doctors' signatures before taking them to pharmacies.

Leeds Crown Court heard Humphrey, 30, managed to obtain 3080 Diazepam and Zolpidem tablets worth £4,942 between March 2015 and August 2016.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said Humphrey presented 56 prescriptions at two pharmacies during the period of the offending.

Mr Ahmed said she was also able to obtain other medication which was not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The offending came to light after a dispenser at a chemist on Harehills Lane became suspicious of Humphrey obtaining "vast quantities" of Diazepam.

Police were called after a neighbouring pharmacy was contacted and it became clear that Humphrey was visiting both premises to obtain drugs.

Humphrey's home was searched by police and £2,815 in cash was found under her bed along with boxes for designer sunglasses and watches.

Mr Ahmed said Humphrey had joined the medical practice as a receptionist in 2010, working 16 hours a week and being paid £8.50 per hour.

In February last year she became a medical assistant.

Between May 2012 and July 2016 a total of £31,213 had been deposited into a savings account.

The prosecutor said records of prescriptions are only kept for a period of 15 months.

Mr Ahmed said Humphrey also owned an Audi worth £7,000.

The court heard the police investigation caused major problems for the medical practice and patients had "suffered greatly".

Members of staff had been placed under suspicion because of Humphrey’s actions and a manager had left the practice suffering from stress.

Mr Ahmed said: "The mistrust between the remaining staff resulted in significant problems in managing the practice.

"Much needed appointments by patients who were ill could not be met in time or when they required them.

"It had a massive impact not only on the NHS but on the practice concerned at a time when the NHS budget is under increasing pressure.”

Humphrey, of Rathmell Road, Halton Moor, pleaded guilty to 14 offences of fraud and one of money laundering.

Michael Miller, mitigating, said the offending took place at a time when she was in a relationship with a man who was violent and controlling towards her and she had her own problems with prescription drugs.

Mr Miller said Humphrey had no previous convictions and said her young daughter would suffer if she was sent immediately to prison.

Humphrey was given a two year prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and take part in a 15-day programme designed to address her offending.

The court heard she had benefited by £34,028 as a result of her offending and had assets available worth £9,819. She was ordered to pay £9,819 in compensation to the NHS.