Revenge not sweet for former pharmacist

A pharmacist has been sentenced after he set up a fake gay dating profile for a former employer and told a pharmacy director’s relative that her partner had HIV

Stuff reports that the pharmacist resigned from his job in 2014 after an employment investigation began to look into his work at the Hamilton Pharmacy in Hamilton, on New Zealand’s North Island.

Noting that the pharmacist was then looking for work in the area, his former employer then faxed pharmacists in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty area saying that the pharmacist had been drinking on duty and stealing.

According to Stuff, these allegations became part of a defamation proceeding and were later retracted by the former employer. There had never been any evidence to support their veracity.

The investigation into the pharmacist’s working practices culminated in a censure in March 2019, after he was found guilty of professional misconduct, including over an incident where he left methadone sitting on a pharmacy counter overnight.

This methadone was then stolen.

The pharmacist also faced charges relating to failure to complete incident reports for two errors, leaving the pharmacy unattended on several occasions and asking colleagues to be untruthful as to where he was at the time, failure to spot an incorrect label on a package of medicine, dispensing incorrect medicine for a script, and taking cash from the pharmacy’s till without permission from the employer.

At the time, he was ordered to pay NZ$35,400 (AUD$32,359) in legal costs. Conditions were placed on his return to the profession, including that he could not be the manager or in sole charge of a pharmacy for a period of four weeks, that he work under an approved supervisor during this period and that he complete ethics training.

Now, Stuff reporter Phillipa Yalden reveals that in the meantime, the pharmacist had been orchestrating a campaign of vengeance against his former employer.

In November 2017, he began to send anonymous emails to his former employer at the Hamilton Pharmacy, claiming her husband was gambling.

He sent emails to two other directors of the pharmacy claiming the director’s husband had a gambling problem, had stolen a NZ$108 voucher and was banned from operating accounts at NZ Racing because of the purported gambling problem. The latter accusation was on forged NZ Racing letterhead.

The emails, 16 in total, continued until December 24, 2019.

He targeted another director by logging onto a dating site and setting up a fake profile in his name, saying he was newly divorced, gay and looking for a relationship.

As a result the pharmacy director began to receive texts with lewd content.

The pharmacist also contacted the pharmacy director’s son’s girlfriend, sending her social media messages saying she should talk to her partner about sexually transmitted infections.

He continued to contact her by sending falsified blood test results which claimed the pharmacy director’s son had been unfaithful to her and infected the other woman with HIV.

The email addresses were shown to have been created by the former pharmacist’s ex-partner, who said he had paid her to set them up in a bid to retaliate against people who had cost him money.

The man is no longer working in pharmacy.

He was sentenced in Hamilton District Court to community detention under curfew from 8pm to 4am.

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