GP stands trial accused of attempting to murder pharmacist

The pharmacist had reported the doctor to health authorities for overprescribing codeine and benzodiazepines to local patients

An Adelaide GP is standing trial accused of ambushing a pharmacist and attempting to stab her in the chest.

Brian Holder, 69, pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Port Lincoln pharmacist Kelly Akehurst in October 2017.

Prosecutors say he went to the Terry White Pharmacy where Mrs Akehurst worked, lured the 28-year-old out from behind the counter with a bunch of flowers and then tried to stab her with a 15-centimetre fishing knife, reports Rebecca Opie from the ABC.

At the time, Mr Holder was a general practitioner at a medical centre in Morphett Vale, south of Adelaide.

In May 2017, Mrs Akehurst reported Mr Holder to AHPRA after filling multiple identical prescriptions he had authorised for large amounts of medications containing benzodiazepines and codeine.

AHPRA investigated the claims and placed limitations on Mr Holder’s ability to prescribe those medications.

Prosecutor Patrick Hill said Mr Holder then travelled to Port Lincoln to confront Mrs Akehurst.

Mr Hill said Holder purchased a bouquet of flowers and approached the pharmacist at her work, saying “I’ve got some flowers for you”.

“She said ‘that’s nice, I never get flowers’ but he reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out the fishing knife and said ‘this is for you’,” he said.

“He stabbed toward her chest, very much in the direction of her heart … he did not succeed.

“He held the knife up with the blade protruding from the base of his fist, the pointed-end pointed at Mrs Akehurst and he stepped towards her, stabbing at her chest very much in the direction of her heart, we say.”

The court heard the victim sustained deep lacerations to her arm, hand and thumb while defending herself in the struggle that ensued.

She screamed for help before managing to break free and run to the front entrance, while Mr Holder fled to the carpark and drove away.

The prosecution did not accept Mr Holder’s guilty plea to the lesser charge of attempted aggravated assault causing serious harm with intent.

The trial continues.

Read the full ABC story here

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  1. United we stand

    A big question is how did the doctor realise who reported him to AHPRA. It’s a huge failure on their behalf if they disclosed her name to the prescribing doctor.

  2. United we stand

    A big question is how did the doctor realise who reported him to AHPRA. It’s a huge failure on their behalf if they disclosed her name to the prescribing doctor.

    • Greg Meaghan

      2 friends of mine have been on the “other” end of APHRA reports in the last year. In both these circumstances APHRA did disclose who made the report…
      I don’t think anyone at APHRA could have imagined this happening. But now that it has a review of procedures is necessary.
      I also just googled Port Lincoln in relation to Adelaide …and this doctor drove 7 hours!!
      I also give best wishes and hope the pharmacist involved is well…

      • United we stand

        If they actually have disclosed her information, she should sue them for millions for the level of personal harm they have put her through for simply doing her job and being professional.

        This has pretty much ensured no one will ever report anything to AHPRA ever again.

  3. nicchick

    Found guilty – sentenced to 15 years, 10 years Non parole.

    Judge critical of AHPRA in sentencing remarks. Link:

    • United we stand

      Judge stated: “Most regrettably, the victim was encouraged by AHPRA to allow her name to be disclosed as the pharmacist notifier and it was provided to you, as was in due course, the name of her pharmacy. This enabled you to locate her. Indeed, you employed a private investigator to ascertain her home address.”

      Jesus Christ. He found out where she lives. AHPRA really needs an overhaul and risk minimisation assesments. I honestly don’t see why they were so adamant to disclose the name of the person reporting it.

      • nicchick

        Was wholly unnecessary for AHPRA to release her name. What did it matter who reported his irregular prescribing. It was his conduct that was under scrutiny not the pharmacist. Could’ve been anyone of us. Thoughts are with her.

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