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Richhill woman who altered prescription sentenced to 18 months probation

The 25-year-old had doctored the prescription with a black pen where she changed a medication strength of 100mg to one of 300mg

Armagh Courthouse

A Richhill woman who altered a prescription in order to obtain a higher strength has been ordered to complete 18 months probation.

Court heard how the 25-year-old had doctored the prescription with a black pen where she changed a strength of 100mg to one of 300mg.

Sophie Gillespie, of Main Street, appeared at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday in order to be sentenced on a single charge of fraud by false representation.

Prosecution outlined that on March 7, of 2019, police received a report from the Friary Surgery, Armagh, that a female had brought an altered prescription to Gordon’s Chemist in the city.

The female had drawn over the marking of 100mg with a black pen to instead show a medication strength of 300mg.

On May 22, of 2019, police attended the home of the defendant, the named person on the prescription.

She was cautioned for the offence and during a notebook interview made admissions to altering her prescription to make it “stronger”.

Defence solicitor Sarah McKeown stated that a “very helpful” presentence report, which had been provided by probation, was before the court and commented that she did not wish to go over her client’s “significantly difficult mental health background”.

The solicitor said: “Her GP had reduced her dosage and she felt that it was now ineffective….she respects the opinions of her GP, as a health profession, but she did take things into her own hands.

“I ask that she is given full credit for her early plea and full credit for her clear record.”

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter commented that Gillespie needed “as much assistance as she can get” and ordered the defendant to complete an 18 month probation order.

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