ALTERATION: Nicholas Currell admitted to forgery relating to a doctor's script.
ALTERATION: Nicholas Currell admitted to forgery relating to a doctor's script. Ross Irby

Dodgy medical prescription forgery offers no pain relief

AN IPSWICH chemist's suspicions were aroused when he was given a doctor's script with a different-coloured ink and mismatched writing.

Self-employed businessman Nicholas Currell walked into the Booval chemist and handed over a script for medication that contained opioid medication oxycodone.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Narelle Krushka told an Ipswich court the script had an obvious alteration that was not made by the prescribing doctor John Trace.

She said the script was computer-generated and signed by Dr Trace with a blue pen for Panadeine Forte tablets.

When Currell presented the script it instead read Endone and been written in black ink.

Nicholas Rodney Currell, 30, from Chuwar, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to attempting to obtain a controlled drug with an altered prescription at Booval on August 31.

Sen-Constable Krushka said the pharmacist believed it to be fraudulent, kept the script and refused to dispense it.

Dr Trace was contacted and confirmed the script had been altered.

Currell was also identified on CCTV.

When contacted by police, Currell knew why, telling officers he had been in significant pain that day.

Sen-Constable Krushka said Currell had gone to a different doctor, who refused to give him Endone.

He acknowledged that changing the script was wrong but said he needed the drug to manage his pain.

Defence lawyer M.L. Cunningham said Currell was on parole with a suspended jail sentence on other offences.

That 2 ½ year suspended sentence was imposed last year. Mr Cunningham said Currell had since turned his life around.

Mr Cunningham said Currell was suffering with gall bladder attacks and had lost 90kg in weight.

The gall bladder has now been removed.

"This act was done out of desperation for the pain," Mr Cunningham said.

"He couldn't get in to see his regular doctor. It was unsophisticated and he was always going to get caught."

Magistrate David Shepherd said there must be other ways than by attempting to forge a medical script and that Currell could have gone the hospital emergency department.

Mr Shepherd accepted that Currell committed the offence for his pain and suffering.

He said Currell did have a criminal history and despite the defence submission not to, he would record the conviction. Currell was fined $500 which was sent to SPER.



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