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Friday 19 September 2014

Mum who became addicted to morphine after work accident admits forging prescription

Published 20/06/2014 | 15:41

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A woman who became addicted to morphine medication after an accident at work has admitted forging prescriptions to get the drug.
A woman who became addicted to morphine medication after an accident at work has admitted forging prescriptions to get the drug.

A woman who became addicted to morphine medication after an accident at work has admitted forging prescriptions to get the drug.

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Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Tracey Byrne (32) was prescribed injections of cyclimorphine, which contains morphine, because she was suffering from chronic pain after her accident.

When her GP stopped these prescriptions in 2012 Byrne tried unsuccessfully to get other doctors to subscribe the medication. She then began forging the prescriptions.

The mother of two of Old Church Road, Clondalkin pleaded guilty to fraudulent alteration of a prescription at Bradley’s Pharmacy, Fortfield Road, Terenure on May 23 and June 5, 2012.

She also admitted forgery of a prescription at O’Hara’s Chemist, Dublin on June 1, 2012.

Judge Desmond Hogan adjourned sentencing to next October and remanded Byrne on bail on condition that she doesn’t enter pharmacies in the Dublin 6 area.

Garda Mary Lavin told Vincent Heneghan BL, prosecuting, that Byrne presented a prescription to staff at Bradley’s Pharmacy under the name Suzanne Farrell. Staff became suspicious and asked her to come back the next day for the medication.

The pharmacy contacted the prescribing doctor who said that he had not written the prescription. Gardaí arrested Byrne when she returned to pick up the prescription the next day.

During a search of her home gardai found six more forged prescriptions for cyclimorphine.

Garda Lavin said all of Byrne’s 16 previous convictions related to her addiction to the prescribed drug and are for offences of theft and using forged prescriptions committed in 2012.

Caroline Biggs SC, defending, said that all of her client’s offending behaviour is a consequence of her addiction to morphine. She said Byrne is also troubled by psychological issues.

Judge Hogan said that Byrne had to stop offending or face prison, adding: “I have certain sympathy in this case”.

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