A custody suite nurse stole drugs from Boston Police Station after becoming addicted to prescription painkillers, a court was told.
Tracey Brookes sneaked out hundreds of dihydrocodeine tablets while working shifts for the private firm G4S Medical Services administering medication to suspects held at a number of police stations.
Lincoln Crown Court heard in total Brookes took drugs worth more than £2,500 stealing from police stations at Lincoln, Skegness, Grantham and Newark as well as Boston.
Christopher Geeson, prosecuting, told the court: “The tablets are prescribed to prisoners. They are put in self-sealed bags and any that are left are taken away and disposed of.
“During the time she committed these thefts she was employed by G4S Medical Services as a health care professional.
“She attempted to hide the thefts in a variety of different ways but they were all fairly amateurish. She would get rid of documentation. She was also able to take drugs which should have been returned and disposed of.”
Brookes, who is now pregnant with her second child, was arrested in January this year after the thefts came to light.
Mr Geeson said “She denied the offences but later she was re-interviewed and she made an admission. She said she had been addicted to codeine for a number of years.”
Brookes, 40, of Queens Road, Boston, admitted nine charges of theft of a total of 514 dihydrocodeine tablets and 21 diazepam tablets between August 2013 and January 2014.
She broke down in tears in the dock as she was given a six-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and 60 hours of unpaid work. She was also ordered to complete a six-month drug rehabilitation programme and to pay a £120 victim surcharge.
Recorder Gareth Evans QC told her: “It is quite clear that you took the tablets for your own benefit.
“It is clear you were addicted. You weren’t selling them.
“It has all come to an end. Nevertheless, it was theft from an employer and breach of trust.”
Sunil Khanna, defending, said Brookes, who already has a young son, had no previous convictions.
He said “She was a paramedic for nine years with East Midlands Ambulance Service. She was prescribed painkillers after being attacked at work.
“By the time she joined G4S she was an addict.”
Mr Khanna said that since her arrest Brookes has sought treatment for her drug programme and has undergone detox.