Pharmacist sentenced for stolen prescriptions

IAN STEWARD
Last updated 14:06 02/05/2014

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An Auckland pharmacist who stole prescriptions that patients had returned and sold them on the black market has been sentenced to 10 months' home detention.

Samer Dabous, 33, was sentenced in the Auckland District Court today after pleading guilty to possession of drugs for supply, including morphine, Ritalin, diazapam, triazolam and cannabis.

Dabous, a locum pharmacist and football coach, was arrested after his landlords noticed a strong smell coming from his apartment that hurt their eyes and throat and gave them headaches.

They entered the apartment and found pills and medicines, along with cannabis, bongs and pipes.

Police were called, and Dabous' apartment was searched on December 4, 2011.

Medicines prescribed to various people were found, including a total of 145 milligrams of morphine sulfate, 560mg of Ritalin and 66 grams of cannabis.

Dabous admitted to police that he was addicted to cannabis and that he had stolen the drugs after they were returned to pharmacies he worked at.

He denied selling the drugs, although this was found to be a lie after police searched text messages on his cellphone.

The court heard that Dabous suffered from depression and he was worried about family in his native Syria.

He graduated from Otago University with a Bachelor of Pharmacy in 2005.

Judge Claire Ryan said that as a pharmacist, Dabous knew the danger of on-selling prescription medicines.

She sentenced him to 10 months' home detention, which he will serve at a Dunedin property.

Dabous was suspended by the Pharmacy Council in March 2012.

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- Fairfax Media

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