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Drug-theft doctor plans to admit possessing heroin

18 August 2009

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A court has heard that a doctor accused of stealing drugs from a colleague plans to plead guilty to separate charges of unlawfully possessing class A substances.

Dr Liam Farrell, 51, intends to admit possessing diamorphine (heroin) and cyclimorph (a morphine-based drug used to treat pain) between March and July last year, his lawyer told Newry Magistrates’ Court.

The doctor, from Rostrevor, Co Down is also accused of stealing four ampoules of diamorphine from Dr John Gribben in the same period.

Farrell, who works with Dr Gribben at Crossmaglen Health Centre in Co Armagh, is well known for media columns on health issues. He has also written for several respected medical journals.

Solicitor Kieran Connolly said the medic planned to plead guilty to the two possession counts at the next hearing, and asked magistrate Bonita Boyd to adjourn the case to next month.

Dr Farrell is still eligible to practise but has had certain restrictions placed on him by the General Medical Council (GMC) while it carries out its own investigation.

A GMC spokeswoman revealed that the GP could also face a fitness to practice hearing.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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