With more twists and turns than a park ride, the case of theft by an experienced healthcare professional is coming to a close.
When questioned, a veteran intensive care nurse stated that he consistently stole sedatives from a Sydney hospital so as to “get rid of rats”. Initially believed to have used them to poison his wife, he has now been cleared of this charge.
News.com.au reported that Ugendra Singh, 46, was charged back in May 2020 with a slew of offences. These included the theft of sedatives from Liverpool Hospital in NSW and the alleged poisoning of Joytika Lata, his wife, at their residence in Hebersham.
Subsequent to Mr Singh pleading not guilty to all the charges brought against him, police decided to withdraw the poisoning charge and the nurse then conceded to plead guilty to larceny charges and domestic violence.
Court documents report that Singh made off with 12 vials of Propofol after his shifts concluded in the ICU unit at Liverpool Hospital on May 3 and 4, 2020.
Propofol is an intravenous anaesthetic and is utilised to sedate hospital patients, particularly persons who need to be intubated, such as the hundreds of COVID patients who currently need ventilation.
Subsequent to being injected, Ms Lata fell asleep for five hours and then shared a meal with her spouse of 18 years. It is stated that concluding the meal the two started arguing and Mr Singh is then detailed as slapping Ms Lata in the face.
Upon arriving at the residence to arrest Mr Singh, police found 12 empty vials of Propofol along with multiple medical items such as syringes, cannulas and tourniquets.
Court documents display that Mr Singh claims he took the Propofol in an attempt to manage a rodent infestation at his residence.
The accused spent six months remanded in custody following his arrest, before bail was granted.
As of Tuesday this week he appeared in Mt Druitt Local Court where convictions for one count of domestic violence-related common assault and two counts of larceny were handed down.
In commenting on Mr Singh’s behaviour and excuse for it, Magistrate George Breton spoke of the nurse’s “gross breach of trust” when stealing the Propofol.
“To suggest, as has been suggested by you, that you’d taken it home to get rid of rats beggars belief.”
The Judge added, “You haven’t committed any offences for about 18 years. Why it is you decided to go the other way after all this time is beyond me.”
The nurse received a nine-month community corrections order in relation to the domestic violence offence, and two 12-month orders in connection to the larceny charges.
In partnership with the procedure of the orders, Mr Singh is mandated to complete treatment for anger management, as well as a domestic violence offender course and undergo treatment for his mental health.
To safeguard Ms Lata’s protection, an apprehended violence order is in place for two years.
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