Emergency Room Nurse Charged With Stealing Percocet to Support Drug Habit
If an individual must steal in order to feed an addiction, he or she should face the consequences of his or her actions. Not true for an emergency room nurse. According to a Calgary Sun article, an emergency room nurse won’t earn a criminal record for stealing pain killers to support her addiction.
Mona Michele Helmer, 41, received a conditional discharge from Calgary provincial court Judge Marlene Graham recently, despite the clear action of a two-week stealing spree in 2008.
Helmer entered a guilty plea in connection with the spree in which she stole 167 Percocet pills at the Peter Lougheed Center. Graham agreed to defense counsel requests from Shaun Flannigan that a discharge was appropriate considering the circumstances behind Helmer’s crime.
Rob Bassett, the Crown prosecutor, told the court that Helmer stole the pills while working emergency unit at the Lougheed by signing out more painkillers than had actually been prescribed for patients.
According to Bassett, the drugs were worth just $15.03 and were taken between May 28 and June 10, 2008.
Helmer claimed to be controlling her addiction prior to the crime, but had recently suffered added stress, in addition to suffering from depression and chronic migraines.
The avoidance of a criminal record will only be possible if Helmer abides by the probation conditions for the next two years. Such conditions include ongoing addiction counseling.
In addition to her court ordered counseling, Helmer is suspended without pay while the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta determines her professional fate.