Man gets jail for stealing medical prescriptions

Bishop street Courthouse

Bishop street Courthouse

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A man who stole prescriptions from two medical centres was jailed for nine months when the case against him came before Londonderry Magistrates’ Court.

Hugh Gerard McConnell (40), of Clooney Mews, admitted the burglary of two medical centres on May 17.

McConnell entered City View Medical Centre and said he needed paint relief medication, but was refused as he was no longer a patient. He had gone there several times that week.

When the receptionist left the desk, McConnell leaned over the counter and took a number of prescriptions. Later that day, at Bayview Medical Centre he did the same thing while enquiring about registering at the practice.

The court heard another patient confronted McConnell, telling him to hand them back and McConnell then claimed he had lifted prescriptions that he thought were his. He returned them and sat down in the waiting room.

CCTV footage from City View Medical Centre showed him putting the prescriptions in his jacket.

In police interview he admitted he did not have permission to take the prescriptions adding he had thrown away the prescriptions as none of them were for pain relief.

Observing McConnell was in breach of a suspended sentence, District Judge Barney McElholm said: “This was an absolutely scandalous thing to do.”

Noting he had 142 previous convictions, he added he would not impose the maximum sentence of 18 months given his early plea.