Coke habit lands nurse behind bars

An anonymous telephone tip has resulted in a three-year, eight-month sentence for a 30-year old nurse in the U.K. who was found guilty of stealing drugs to support her cocaine habit, reported The Lancashire Telegraph.

Nurse Amie Heller was arrested in 2015, 11 days after the tip was received and an investigation found drugs were missing from Royal Blackburn Hospital, where she worked. She was charged with stealing and selling prescription drugs. Police reported she admitted stealing zopilone, tramadol, dihydrocodeine and codeine from the hospital.

In court Judge Robert Altham accused Heller of “abuse of power.”

“You, Heller, need to understand medical professionals stealing drugs from hospitals cannot be tolerated,” Altham said according to The Telegraph. “You were responsible for diverting drugs that needed to be dished out in a regulated way for people’s health and safety and you were putting them into an unregulated distribution and you have abused a position of trust to steal drugs from people who were genuinely ill.”

A search of Heller’s Robchester home uncovered nine snap bags of cocaine and a box of prescription pills with labels removed. Police also found an iPhone full of incriminatig text messages regarding cocaine and prescription medications.

Heller, who has one child, stole the drugs during a one month period with longtime friend and co-defendant, Jake Lloyd-Haydock, who pleaded guilty in March 2016 and is serving a two year, six month jail sentence.