Hull GP receptionist stole prescriptions to get 27,000 morphine pills 'for a thrill' - and then blamed masked man
A GP receptionist stole hundreds of prescriptions to get drugs for a "thrill".
Daryl Elsmore, 44, stole morphine-based drugs over a three-year period from Dr Hussain's medical practice at Wilberforce Health Centre in Story Street, Hull city centre.
Elsmore had worked at the medical centre three days a week since August 2008 but began stealing prescriptions after two months.
She stole 334 prescriptions and took them to pharmacies in either Kingswood or Witham to exchange them for drugs.
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She obtained 12,536 at 30mg strength tablets and 15,136 higher strength 60mg tablets for drugs containing morphine.
When she was arrested, Elsmore told police she was threatened by a masked man who told her he would firebomb her home if she refused to get drugs for him.
She later admitted lying, saying she had stolen the prescriptions for a "thrill".
Prosecutor Jayne Bryan said: "In her initial police interview, she said she had been threatened by a man with a scarf over his face who made her steal prescriptions.
"In her last interview, she admitted lying and said she was depressed and was told morphine tablets would assist her.
"She realised they were not doing her any good but she carried on doing it for the thrill of being able to get away with it."
Elsmore pleaded guilty to theft between October 2008 and December last year and fraud between October and December 2008.
Recorder Stuart Brown QC told Elsmore he would not sentence her on the basis she supplied the stolen drugs to anyone. He said: "The prosecution has considered the papers and decided not to proceed with other charges.
"I have to sentence you, whatever the suspicions, on the basis there was no supply because supply would be a separate matter."
The net began to close in on Elsmore, of Innsworth Garth, Bransholme, after she used the name of a dead patient in a pharmacy in Boots in Kingswood.
Suspicious staff contacted the surgery where she worked in September last year but she got away with it because no one could identify who had handed over the prescription.
Elsmore was finally brought to justice last December when pharmacists in Biggin Avenue, east Hull, queried a prescription and Elsmore told them her friend had written it.
They contacted the surgery and, when they confronted Elsmore, she broke down and confessed.
She has been given a 36-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and has been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.