Pharmacist Banned for Spiking Colleague’s Drinks
A Sydney pharmacist who spiked his married assistant’s drinks 23 times after she rejected his advances has been banned from practising pharmacy for at least four years by a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
A judgment released on Monday found Yan Chi “Anthony” Cheung posed a significant threat to the health of members of the public and cancelled his pharmacy registration.
The tribunal also prohibited him from preparing, obtaining or administering medicine until further notice.
It comes after Cheung was convicted in Waverley Local Court of poisoning to injure or cause distress or pain and sentenced to a minimum jail term of 10 months in 2016.
He was released on supervised parole in July last year and his sentence is due to expire in March.
The hearing, which sat in October last year, found that Cheung had used his expertise to covertly sprinkle a selection of soluble, colourless sedatives, antidepressants and antipsychotic medication into his victim’s coffee and water after “his expressions of interest were rejected”.
The tribunal heard he spiked the woman’s water with 50mg of the sedative Phenergan three times over as many weeks.
He also administered 10mg of another sedative, doxylamine, up to twice a week for three months.
Cheung gave evidence before the tribunal, claiming his decision to poison the woman, who he had met at an inner-city church two years prior, had nothing to do with a sexual fantasy, rather it had been because he “did not want to hear from her anymore” and “wanted to stop her complaining and to keep her quiet”.
In police interviews following his arrest in May 2016, Cheung said he had “been infatuated with her for up to two years before giving (the victim) the lead in securing the position” as a pharmacy assistant at the Sydney University chemist where he worked.
Court documents show Cheung started displaying disturbing behaviour, opening the woman’s mail at work, visiting her when she was alone at home and even accompanying her to a dental appointment without her consent. Their work relationship soured in April 2015 when she confronted him about the unwanted attention.
The following month, Cheung began arriving at work early to crush up the medication to spike her beverages.
After noticing a bitter taste in these drinks and experiencing numbness on her tongue, the victim asked to view the store’s CCTV footage, which Cheung unsuccessfully attempted to wipe from the system.