A woman who visited pharmacies across Essex to falsely obtain prescription drugs has been sentenced.

Ashleen Murray, 25, creating aliases and stole a doctor’s prescription pad in a bid to get her hands on the drugs between September 2017 to March 2018.

During that time she gave false details to doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals to obtain prescription drugs.

Murray, an Australian national who moved to the UK in August 2017, initially targeted a shop in Chelmsford and showed her Australian driving licence to get drugs.

Staff then grew suspicious of her further attempts to obtain drugs and asked to see her passport.

They later released that she had been using different aliases to obtain drugs and alerted the NHS and police.

When Murray arrived in the UK, she signed up to a doctor’s surgery in Chelmsford.

In November 2017, she told her doctor that she was diagnosed with kidney stones and he agreed to prescribe some drugs to help her with pain.

While his back was turned, she stole his doctor’s prescription pad.

She went on to fake her doctor’s signature to obtain drugs before being arrested in March last year.

Murray admitted to falsely obtaining prescription drugs 22 times from locations in Chelmsford, Ingatestone, Billericay, Colchester, Little Waltham, South Woodham Ferrers, Basildon, Harlow, Braintree and Great Baddow.

Murray, of Rainsford Road, Chelmsford, must complete 60 days rehabilitation activity requirement and 240 hours unpaid work after admitting three counts of fraud by false representation, one count of theft and one count of making a false prescription for a scheduled drug.

She was sentenced at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court.

Investigating officer PC Rob Bentley, of Essex’s Fraud Volume Team, said: “Murray is a fraudster who started conning the NHS out of prescription drugs within a month of arriving in this country. She went to extreme lengths to get the drugs. She used her Australian driving licence, she create aliases and even stole her doctor’s prescription pad when his back was turned. While we still need to fully understand her actions, they cannot be condoned.

“She went on to obtain prescription drugs 22 times over a short period and this can only be for criminal gain. Today, Murray has faced the consequences for her fraudulent actions through the courts.”

There are many ways you can get help for drug addiction, including prescription drugs.

Visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/drug-addiction-getting-help/.