A MAN from Stow has been spared jail after stealing prescription medication worth almost £9,000 from the NHS.

Christopher Clark, aged 47, of Bartletts Park, admitted six charges of fraud by false representation at Gloucester Crown Court.

After police carried out a warrant at Clark’s home and recovered a large amount of prescription drugs, Clark was found to have used false identities in six different names to register with at least six medical facilities across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.

PC Adrian Stratton, who worked on the case, said: “We hope the result of this protracted and detailed investigation reassures the public that we will work closely with the NHS Gloucestershire Fraud Service to take robust action against anyone defrauding our National Health Service.”

Teresa Middleton, head of medicines management for NHS Gloucestershire, said: “This conviction sends out an important message to anyone who thinks it is acceptable to cheat the NHS and put the health of themselves and others at risk.

“The inappropriate use of prescription medicines can have very serious consequences, so it is really important anyone defrauding the NHS in this way is prosecuted and the safety of the public safeguarded.”

Clark was given a nine month sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 to the NHS and £250 costs.