Indian-origin pharmacist jailed in UK for drug offences

London, Dec 30 (IANS) An Indian-origin pharmacist in the UK has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for supplying ‘under the counter drugs’ leading to the death of a woman in 2020.

Dushyant Patel, 67, a London pharmacist with more than 40 years of experience, had supplied class C drugs to Alisha Siddiqi, whose body was found at a property in Norwich, England in August 2020, a court heard.

Police identified Patel as a suspect four months after the death of Siddiqi, and charged him with drug offences, Norwich Evening News reported.

Siddiqi’s toxicology results showed that she died from an overdose of medication, and her phone records showed frequent communication with Patel between January and August 2020.

Patel supplied Zolpidem and Zopiclone drugs to the victim without prescription, the court noted.

Sentencing Patel to 18 months in custody, Judge Alice Robinson said it had been a “very serious breach of trust” by the defendant who had been a pharmacist for over 40 years.

Judge Robinson said Patel must have known the victim was “misusing” these drugs or was “addicted to them and was therefore vulnerable”.

The prosecution said he was receiving money in exchange, the paper reported.

Patel’s lawyer said it was “bewildering” that he acted in this way for “quite modest sums of money”.

He said he has had a career “spanning decades in which a very valuable service” was provided to customers of the pharmacy, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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