2017-10-18

Dr. Sarah Jones acquitted of all charges in drug possession and fraud case

by Brittany Wentzell

  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Dr. Sarah Jones leaving Bridgewater Provincial Court on October 13.</p>

A Hammonds Plains doctor has been acquitted of all charges in a fraud and prescription drug possession related case.

Dr. Sarah Jones, 37, was in Bridgewater Provincial Court on October 13 to face five remaining charges. Jones first pleaded not guilty to charges related to fraud and unlawful possession of Oxycodone in June 2016.

The defence asked for an acquittal of the remaining charges, including impersonating Merel Douglas Chase to obtain drugs, defrauding the Workers Compensation Board of more than $5,000, defrauding an Atlantic Superstore pharmacy of more than $5,000 worth of drugs, making a prescription document in Chase's name without authority and unlawfully possessing Oxycodone.

Judge Tim Landry granted the acquittal. He also complimented the crown and defence on their behaviour during the court battle that lasted over a year.

"I would like to thank counsel for their civility and professionalism in this trial, it was a long trial and I thought everyone comported themselves very well," said Landry.

Josh Bryson, crown attorney, said the judge wasn't satisfied the crown had proof beyond a reasonable doubt on the remaining charges.

"We felt we had a strong case, we presented the evidence we had at the time and ultimately that's the judge's rule," said Bryson.

Jones declined to comment on the matter.

Jones, who used to work at the Crossroads Family Practice in Upper Tantallon, was originally accused of prescribing in the vicinity of 50,000 painkilling pills to a Bridgewater-area patient who never received the medication. Bridgewater Police Service charged Jones back in February 2016 after the Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons aided in a seven-month-long investigation.

The crown dropped trafficking and possession for the purposes of trafficking just three days into the trial as the prosecution believed there was no real prospect of convicting Jones on those charges.

The Crown closed its case June 28 after calling 14 witnesses, many of them pharmacists based out of the Bridgewater and Tantallon areas along with physicians with ties to the Crossroads Family Practice. The defence called a pair of witnesses to testify.

With files from Keith Corcoran.

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