A Tauranga judge has refused a request for a discharge without conviction from a local doctor who used fake prescriptions to obtain anti-depresssants.

Last week Ashley John Hodgson, 59, pleaded guilty to five charges of dishonestly using a document, namely prescriptions, and sought the discharge on essentially medical grounds.

Judge Rollo, who delivered his reserve decision in Tauranga District Court today, refused the request for discharge without conviction as he did not believe the grounds put forward met the legal test.

Dr Hodgson was convicted of all the charges.


On five occasions between March 10 and 11 this year Dr 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 last occasion the pharmacy assistant became suspicious and called police.

Dr Hodgson's lawyer Bill Nabney argued for a discharge without conviction on the grounds that the consequences of a conviction would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offending.

Mr Nabney told Judge Peter Rollo last week that his client had offended because of his addiction and the doctor was undertaking counselling.

Dr Hodgson was also taking medication for a recently diagnosed bi-polar condition, he said.
Police opposed the discharge arguing the offending was too serious.

Judge Rollo imposed court costs on Dr Hodgson but imposed no other penalty.