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Nurofen tamperer jailed for 18 months.

Summary: A codeine addict, who contaminated packets of Nurofen Plus in order to fund his habit, has been jailed for eighteen months.

A codeine addict, who contaminated packets of Nurofen Plus in order to fund his habit, has been jailed for eighteen months.

Christopher McGuire cost the manufacturers Au2.4 million and saved himself just Au7 by placing strips of an anti-psychotic drug in empty packets of the painkiller and swapping them for new packets at pharmacies.

The judge at Southwark Crown Court called his scheme "carefully thought out and skilfully executed", which created a "good deal of public fear and anxiety".

The court heard how the 31-year-old's scheme involved asking for Nurofen Plus at a pharmacy counter and then attempting to pay for it with a card he knew would be declined.

In doing this, he created sufficient distraction to discreetly swap the contaminated packet for the fresh one and walk away.

McGuire, who went to university at the age of 16, took 32 tablets of the drug each day to feed his secret addiction. But after losing his job he struggled to pay for it.

Instead, he replaced empty packets with the Seroquel he was being prescribed for schizophrenia, and the contaminated packs ended up in the hands of unsuspecting members of the public.

Two men, Peter Letham and Paul Connor, took the anti-psychotic drugs in error, believing them to be Nurofen Plus, and were left feeling unwell.

On July 24 and July 28 last year two other consumers realised the Nurofen Plus they had bought also contained Seroquel instead, but did not swallow any.

McGuire, of Edzell Drive in Glasgow, was tracked down to his landlady's home in Swanley, Kent, on September 23 after the origins of the Seroquel were traced.

He admitted his actions and was later charged with causing a public nuisance.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2012. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:May 28, 2012
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