Pharmacist stole drugs and equipment from St Neots store and sold them on eBay

Timothy Richards

Timothy Richards - Credit: Archant

A pharmacist who stole more than £400,000 worth of drugs and sold them to doctors’ surgeries and on eBay has been jailed for more than three years.

Timothy Richards, of Whitby Avenue, Eye, was a senior area manager at Lloyds Pharmacy responsible for the Eaton Socon pharmacy, amongst others, when he stole £267,845 – the proceeds of drugs sold to a pharmacy in Leeds between March 23, 2011, and January 21 this year.

The 42-year-old also stole £139,723 proceeds of sales belonging to Lloyds Pharmacy between April 17, 2009, and January 16, 2013, and £15,000 proceeds of sales of medical equipment between April 5, 2007, and March 31, 2011.

He was also charged with failing to tell Revenue and Customs about payments totalling £37,555.20 between March 17, 2010, and March 13, 2013.

On Monday, Peterborough Crown Court was told Richards, who had no previous convictions, used the money for holidays, including a trip to Lapland, bought cars and a timeshare as well as a five-bedroom house.

John Kirkpatrick, mitigating, said Richards was genuinely ashamed of what he had done, was extremely remorseful and had let friends and family down.

Mr Kirkpatrick added that Richards’s career was gone and all he wanted to do was help people, which is what he had done until 2007. The court heard that Richards wanted to repay the money.

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Richards admitted three counts of theft by employee and failing to declare income to HMRC. He was jailed for three years for each of the theft offences, to run concurrently, and was given a further four months for failing to declare his income.

On sentencing, Judge Nic Madge said: “The aggravating feature was the lengthy course of offending involving multiple transactions. It was sophisticated offending, you used knowledge of running of business through a position of trust to cover tracks by deleting all electronic records of orders.

“No explanation has been given for these thefts. The only possible explanation is greed on your behalf.

“This will obviously have serious consequences for your wife and three children, but you, and you alone, are responsible for them.”