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WhatsApp group chat helped pharmacy staff spot fake prescription


WhatsApp group chat helped pharmacy staff spot fake prescription

By Neil Trainis

A discussion on a WhatsApp group about bogus prescriptions helped staff in a branch of Well Pharmacy thwart an attempt by a customer to fraudulently obtain diazepam.

An alert member of staff at the pharmacy spotted that a prescription handed to her on September 13 by 24-year-old Jake Godber at the pharmacy in Maude Street, Kendal, was false having seen details of fake prescriptions on the WhatsApp group.

According to The Westmorland Gazette, Carlisle Magistrates Court heard the staff member told a colleague that she was concerned the prescription was not legitimate but by the time she returned to talk to Godber, he had left the pharmacy and was being chased by the police.

Godber, of Orton Road, Carlisle, admitted an offence of fraud by false representation having sought to make a gain, namely a quantity of diazepam. He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months.

“When (the staff member) looked at the prescription, she recognised it was fraudulent as details (of such fakes) had been circulated on a pharmacy WhatsApp group,” the prosecutor Lee Dacre was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

The court heard that Godber, who had three previous convictions for 11 offences and was given a community order earlier this year for using fake prescriptions to try and obtain medicine, had serious mental health problems.

His lawyer, who said he had Asperger syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, told the court Godber’s attempted fraud was not “sophisticated” as a friend had sent him a phone screenshot of a prescription which “was quite clearly a fake.”

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