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Police inspector's wife charged with fraud

Published on 13th December 2017

EXCLUSIVE: A Weipa nurse has been charged with fraud after allegedly stealing morphine from her workplace.

Colette James, 41, is alleged to have stolen the pain medication over an 11-month period.

In a statement provided to the Cape York News, police said Ms James would face Cairns Magistrates Court on January 29 on two fraud-related charges.

“The incident relates to a 41-year-old Weipa woman who was employed as a health care professional at a local hospital,” a police spokesman said.

“It will be alleged that she fraudulently obtained controlled medication from her workplace between December 2016 and November this year.”

Ms James is the wife of Cape Patrol Inspector Paul James.

There is no suggestion Inspector James is involved.

The Cape York News has been told that Cairns-based police flew to Weipa to make the charges.

Ms James had been working at Weipa’s hospital, as well as other clinics in Cape York. Police did not say which health facility she was accused of stealing from.

The Cape York News attempted to contact Inspector James for comment.

An automated email reply said he was on leave until January 9.

The case will not only be heard by the courts.

Queensland Health has also reported the matter to the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service executive general manager Bev Hamerton said an employee had been suspended while the investigation was undertaken.

“The Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service is investigating the reported misappropriation of restricted drugs by a staff member at the Weipa Integrated Health Service,” Ms Hamerton said.

“The matter has been reported to police, as well as the Office of the Health Ombudsman, the Crime and Corruption Commission and the Public Health Unit.

“The employee involved has been suspended while the investigation is undertaken.

“The Torres and Cape HHS is not currently aware of any potential patient harm arising as a result of this misappropriation of a restricted drug.

“However, this will be considered as part of the investigation.

“As this matter is under active investigation, no further details can be provided.”