Devon

Paramedic drugs theft in Devon avoids prison

A former paramedic who stole drugs and took them while on duty but falsified records to cover his tracks has been given a suspended jail term.

Plymouth Crown Court heard that Charles Kingdom, 36, blamed the 2009 collapse of his marriage for his actions.

Kingdom, from Brandon Road, Plymouth, was sentenced to 12 months in total, suspended for two years for charges including theft and fraud.

In court he blamed his actions on the the 2009 collapse of his marriage.

'Impeccable past'

Speaking after the case, Kingdom apologised to the South West Ambulance Trust, where he had worked for 15 years, saying: "I realise it was a very stupid thing to do.

"I should have had the insight to get professional help, but for whatever reason I didn't."

The court heard that Kingdom altered paperwork to show he gave patients higher levels of drugs than he actually did, and then used the difference on himself.

Kingdom was caught taking drugs in a toilet at work last July, and police then raided his home and found 46 empty ampoules of morphine and other opiates, the court heard.

Ali Rafati, representing Kingdom, said his client had an "impeccable past" until the offences.

"His career as he knew it has ended, he will be struck off the register automatically," he added.

Kingdom was sentenced to serve 12 months concurrently for each of two charges of theft, six of falsifying a drugs register and one of fraud, all suspended for two years.

He had pleaded guilty to all the charges at an earlier hearing.

He was also ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid work.

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