Fake-scripts doctor in bid to escape conviction

By Sandra Conchie

A local doctor used fake prescriptions to get anti-depressants.
A local doctor used fake prescriptions to get anti-depressants.

A Tauranga judge has reserved his decision in the case of a local doctor who is seeking a discharge without conviction after he used fake prescriptions to obtain anti-depressants.

Ashley John Hodgson, 59, of Papamoa Beach, who appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday, has admitted five charges of dishonestly using a document, namely prescriptions.

On five occasions between March 10 and 11, Hodgson visited three local pharmacies, and on three occasions was dispensed medications, after he pretended to be two different male patients and presented bogus prescriptions.

On the last occasion, the pharmacy assistant became suspicious and called police.

His lawyer Bill Nabney argued for a discharge without conviction on the grounds the consequences of a conviction would be out of all proportion to the gravity of his offending.

Mr Nabney said Hodgson had not offended for personal gain but because of his addiction. He was undertaking counselling.

Hodgson was also now taking medication for a recently diagnosed bi-polar condition.

Mr Nabney said the Medical Council of New Zealand was awaiting the outcome of the court case. Police opposed the discharge application.

Sergeant Sean Brennan argued that Dr Hodgson's offending was too serious and the matter was best left in the hands of the Medical Council to decide on whether he should continue to hold a practising certificate.

No convictions were entered by Judge Peter Rollo, who reserved his decision. Hodgson was remanded at large for sentencing on June 9.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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