An attempt to fraudulently order a prescription drug was prevented when pharmacists became suspicious of a doctor’s signature.

Eddie Cowley aka Gallagher (25) of Scarva Walk, Banbridge pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation on October 7, 2014.

The accused had been brought before Newry magistrates on a bench warrant as he had missed a previous court hearing on April 2015.

The court heard that the defendant walked into a chemist shop in his home town with a prescription for medication. Staff at the pharmacy became suspicious of the handwriting on the paper as they did not recognise it as being one of their known GP’s. The PSNI was contacted on suspicion of fraud.

The accused was identified by two officers who attended the scene. During police interview, Cowley admitted he had penned the prescription himself and had received the blank order sheet from a third party who he would not name. No record was kept of what drug was being fraudulently requested.

Defence siad his client had cooperated with police and would not be before the courts again. Deputy district judge Trevor Browne asked why Cowley had missed his earlier court appearance. “I was in Mountjoy (prison), it was impossible for me to be here,” answered Cowley.

The defendant was fined £50, an admittedly low amount by the magistrates as there was “no idea what the medication was”.

Source : Banbridge Chronicle (Wednesday 12th April, 2017)