Sleaford area staff nurse denies theft of morphine from hospital ward

The scales of justice
The scales of justice

A staff nurse from the Sleaford area accused of stealing morphine from the hospital ward where she worked today (Monday) told a jury she was not responsible for the thefts.

Kimberley Cooper, who was working at Lincoln County Hospital, also denied that she altered patient records to conceal the fact that drugs had gone missing.

Cooper, 39, of Tomlinson Way, Ruskington, is alleged to have started stealing morphine within a month of taking up a post on Branston Ward. It was her first position as a qualified nurse after gaining a first class honours degree in nursing while training with the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.

Today (Monday) she told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that she did not steal any drugs.

She added that she had not falsified the ward’s controlled drug register in which details of controlled drugs given to patients were recorded.

Her barrister Thomas Stanway asked her: “Have you at any stage altered the controlled drug book to enable you to take drugs?” Cooper replied “No”.

She added: “I have never written anything fraudulent into that book.”

Cooper said that some of the entries in the records were initialled “K.C.” but she said she never initialled records and would write “K. Cooper” against entries to confirm that she had administered drugs to a patient.

The prosecution say that the controlled drugs book and patient records were repeatedly altered by Cooper to enable her to steal morphine.

The jury has been told that Cooper was arrested on July 15, 2014 the day after seven ampoules of morphine went missing from the ward.

Justin Wigoder, prosecuting, said that no discrepancies were found during the period between April 20 and July 7 2014 when Cooper was off work sick and has suggested that Cooper “had” to be the person responsible.

He told the jury: “From November 11, 2013 until July 14, 2014 with the gap I have told you about (when Mrs Cooper was off sick) the records in relation to 20 different patients have been forged and over 40 different occasions.

“In total 430 milligrams of morphine were stolen.”

Cooper denies one charge of theft, four charges of forgery and one charge of possessing a Class A drug.

The trial continues tomorrow (Tuesday).