Chemist had ‘pharmacy in his car’

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A NSW pharmacist has been fined $800 and given an 18-month good behaviour bond for supplying steroids without prescription

In June 2016, police executed three search warrants and charged two men, one a pharmacist, following their investigation into drug supply in the Hunter Valley.

Strike Force Blacklock had been set up by Central Hunter detectives to investigate the supply of prohibited drugs including steroids and other medicines associated with bodybuilding.

Police had listened to a phone call in which pharmacist Phillip Lawrence Slater negotiated the sale of drugs with another man.

When they then stopped the pharmacist’s car, they found 16 boxes of medicines, including 48 syringes of testosterone and 60 capsules of Phentermine, the Newcastle Herald reports.

Mr Slater was part owner of several pharmacies: Amcal Max Rutherford, Telarah Pharmacy, McKeachies Run Pharmacy, The Morpeth Pharmacy, Amcal Waratah and Old Bar Pharmacy, according to a statement of facts.

Mr Slater told police that he was “just transporting some stock between my shops” and that he was a pharmacist.

A police search of Mr Slater’s home, as well as the pharmacies he part owned, uncovered a range of drugs.

At Maitland Local Court last week, magistrate John Chicken said that Mr Slater was “helping himself to discarded drugs for recreational use”.

According to Mr Slater’s barrister, the former pharmacist had “lost everything” including his livelihood, as the Pharmacy Board had barred him from working in the profession.

While several charges against Mr Slater had been dropped, he pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying a prohibited drug and one count of failing to comply with the conditions of his license.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Garry Rowe said he hoped the magistrate would impose a custodial sentence on the former pharmacist.

“The circumstances here is we have a professional man who chose independently to involve himself in this illicit industry,” he said.

Mr Slater was convicted and an 18-month good behaviour bond imposed. He was also fined $800.

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