Belfast Telegraph

Drugs shame GP is warned by judge he's going to jail

By Paul Higgins

A doctor who admitted abusing his position as a GP to obtain a huge amount of heavy painkillers and sedatives was warned yesterday that it is "almost inevitable" he will go to prison.

Freeing 57-year-old Thomas James Anthony Egerton on bail from Downpatrick Crown Court, Judge Piers Grant told the disgraced doctor: "Do not be misled that despite being released that you will receive anything other than a custodial sentence."

The judge added: "I want to make it absolutely clear that these are serious offences and it's almost inevitable that a significant custodial sentence will have to be imposed."

Using crutches to stand in the dock a few minutes earlier, Dr Egerton confirmed his personal details before entering guilty pleas to each of the 29 charges against him.

The GP, from the Station Road in Holywood, and who once practised in the Priory Clinic in the Co Down town, confessed to one count of fraud by abusing his position as a doctor; two charges of fraud by false representation; three of possessing class A prescription drugs; 18 charges of possessing class C prescription drugs, and five counts relating to breaches of procedures in writing prescriptions, all of which occurred on various dates between June 11, 2009 and October 31, 2014.

The final five counts which Dr Egerton pleaded to relate to breaches of drug regulations by failing to keep proper records of prescribed drugs and their respective strengths.

Sentencing was adjourned to the new year.

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