A PHARMACY manager plundered stocks of class C drugs from the premises to sell as he struggled to meet drug and gambling debts, a court heard.

Inderjit Singh Klare ordered large quantities of temazepam and diazepam, greatly exceeding genuine customer need at West Cornforth Pharmacy.

He went on to sell the majority to someone who supplied drugs to a prison inmate.

Durham Crown Court was told Klare was on a downward spiral at the time after he and his wife lost £115,000 between them in an investment fraud and then he lapsed into further financial difficulties after someone he knew failed to repay an £8,000 debt.

The court heard that to compound his problems, treasured household possessions were stolen in a burglary.

Jamie Adams, mitigating for 38-year-old Klare, said in “utter desperation” he sought an uplift through cocaine.

But he soon amassed a £50,000 debt and struggled to find ways to repay his dues, taking up gambling, borrowing money and running up bills on credit cards.

Mr Adams said, under pressure from those to whom he owed money, Klare felt, “he didn’t have an awful lot of choice”, but to take drugs from work to sell.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said suspicions arose over Klare’s dealings and an inquiry, launched by the Area Superintendent Pharmacist, revealed he greatly exceeded the usual amount of diazepam ordered for a pharmacy of that size.

Mr Dryden said on February 16 Klare was arrested as he got into his vehicle parked outside the pharmacy, from where 40 boxes of temazepam were retrieved, while £635 was found in his possession.

The overall loss to the pharmacy by his thieving was put at about £2,500, as a result.

Klare, of Ellesmere Close, Houghton-le-Spring, admitted charges of theft by an employee, possession of a class C drug, and possession with intent to supply.

Mr Adams told the court: “It’s really an appalling situation for a professional man to find himself.

“It’s unthinkable, really. Everyone was proud of him as he was the first person in the family to obtain a degree.

“He not only went to university, but he was working as a professional man, and he’s now lost all of that, and will not be able to work as a pharmacist again.”

Mr Adams added that Klare has a drink driving conviction which arose after his arrest when he drove to cliffs at Marsden heavily intoxicated, considering suicide.

Despite Mr Adams’ pleas for any prison sentence to be suspended, Recorder Ian Atherton imposed terms of ten months for theft and five months, consecutively, for the drugs offences.

Because of his early pleas in proceedings, before the magistrates, Recorder Atherton agreed to deduct a third from Klare’s overall prison term.

Proceeds of crime proceedings will now follow, with a hearing date set for January 7.