Sarnia man guilty of forging elderly mom’s prescription

Sarnia man guilty of forging elderly mom’s prescription

Breadcrumb Trail Links News Local News Hogan Guardian Pharmacy in Petrolia can be seen here on Sunday. Terry Bridge/Sarnia Observer/Postmedia Network Photo by Terry Bridge/Terry Bridge/The Observer Contents of article

A Sarnia man has been arrested and charged with trying to add a prescription for Tylenol 3s to his elderly mother’s prescription, but despite a guilty plea, he will avoid a criminal conviction if he follows the rules of his probationary order.

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The incident happened at the Hogan Guardian Pharmacy in Petrolia last summer. A 64-year-old man received a prescription for his 89-year-old mother, containing three different drugs, from a doctor at Bluewater Health on July 26.

“At the top of the prescription, the handwriting changed and read Tylenol 3s – 20,” Deputy QC Sarah Carmody said in a Sarnia courtroom while reading an agreed statement of fact.

The change in handwriting affected the pharmacist he gave it to that Tuesday afternoon, so they alerted the pharmacist, who called Bluewater Health and spoke to the prescribing doctor. The doctor confirmed that the prescription they wrote for the woman did not contain Tylenol 3.

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The extra drugs weren’t included when the man returned to pick them up, but he did get something added when he returned to the Petrolia Line shop – a visit from Lambton Provincial Police.

“[He]indicated that he was just trying to help his mother,” Carmody said of his conversation with the officer.

The man was arrested and faced with two charges, and last week he pleaded guilty to one charge of counterfeiting. But he is not identified as he received a release tied to a nine-month suspended sentence that includes a ban from returning to the Petrolia pharmacy.

Carmody proposed the dismissal based on his motivation — he was trying to help his mother, though the court didn’t hear why she might need the Tylenol 3s the doctor didn’t prescribe — and a large gap in his criminal record, which included three independent convictions in connection with a restricted driving style.

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Judge John Lynch agreed that the proposed verdict was reasonable as it was in the man’s best interests without compromising the public interest.

But the judge also warned him.

“You must understand, sir, that you have no discharge today. You have to successfully complete the nine-month probationary period,” he said last week. “If you breach any of the conditions, the Office of the Crown is at liberty to take the matter back to court and request that a conviction be registered. So you have to understand that and be very careful over the next nine months.”

He also had to pay a $100 victim penalty, but the second charge was dropped.

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