Rainham woman gets suspended prison sentence for using fake prescriptions to con Romford pharmacy out of painkillers

Photo: PA / Anthony Devlin

Photo: PA / Anthony Devlin - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A Rainham woman who used fake prescriptions to trick pharmacists into handing over hundreds of high-strength painkillers has avoided a prison sentence.

Patrice Jean Curran, aged 35, of Mungo Park Road, pleaded guilty to four counts of using a false prescription for a controlled drug with intent at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Tuesday, October 2).

The court heard how on four occasions earlier this year, ranging from June 28 to August 31, Curran had used fake prescriptions she had written herself to get high-strength prescription painkillers fraudulently from Lloyd’s Pharmacy inside Sainsbury’s at The Brewery in Romford.

On each occasion, Curran used her fake prescriptions to get pharmacists to hand over 100 to 120 pills.

The doctor named on two of the fake prescriptions was actually her flatmate.

The court was also told that Curran, who is addicted to painkillers, had been sentenced on July 23 for a number of similar offences where she had used fake prescriptions to get drugs from a different pharmacy, and had received a six-month suspended prison sentence.

Three of these further offences had come to light as a result of that investigation, but the incident on August 31 occurred after Curran had already been sentenced.

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Pamela Tohani, Curran’s defence solicitor, admitted the 35-year-old was “a very troubled young woman” who has long-running problems with serious back pain since an unspecified accident years ago.

On August 31, Ms Tohani claimed Curran, who had been in a rehab programme since being sentenced for the other offences on July 23, had received some bad news about her health which had caused her to relapse and once again use a fake prescription.

The court heard from a probation officer who praised Curran’s attitude towards the rehabilitation process, and said she had complied totally with conditions imposed under her previous sentence – including a 10pm-6am electronically monitored curfew.

Magistrates chose not to enforce the suspended sentence previously imposed, saying it would be “unjust”, and instead sentenced Curran to three more six-month sentences, suspended for 18 months, and imposed a further 30-day rehab requirement.

Alongside this, Curran’s curfew was extended for a further three months.