Doctor faces hearing for illegally supplying drugs

A doctor who was cleared of killing one of her friends faces being struck off after admitting illegally supplying drugs.
Edinburgh High CourtEdinburgh High Court
Edinburgh High Court

Katy McAllister will go before a disciplinary hearing later this month in a bid to save her career.

At the High Court in Edinburgh earlier this year, she admitted supplying a fellow doctor with diazepam pills while employed at NHS Tayside.

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The 31-year-old, of Dundee, also distributed tablets such as temazepam and had magic mushrooms in her possession and was sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work.

She was initially held after an inquiry into the death of her friend Louise McGowan, 27, in May 2015.

The doctor had been accused of the culpable homicide in Dundee of Miss McGowan.

It was alleged by the prosecution that at two addresses in the city, including a tattoo parlour, she “recklessly and unlawfully” supplied her friend with “controlled and potentially lethal drugs”.

During a trial in May, however, the defence argued that there was insufficient evidence and Judge Graham Buchanan, QC, dismissed the case.

Following the court case, the General Medical Council conducted their own investigation into McAllister and she now faces a hearing before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).

In a statement, the MPTS said: “The tribunal will inquire into the allegation that on 26 May 2017 at the High Court in Edinburgh Dr McAllister was convicted of three counts of supplying or offering to supply a controlled drug to another and two counts of having a controlled drug in her possession.

“It is further alleged that on 27 June 2017 at the High Court in Glasgow Dr McAllister was sentenced to carry out a total of 150 hours of unpaid work within nine months.”

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The hearing in Manchester will begin on 13 November and is scheduled to last for five days.

The three person panel will have to decided whether McAllister’s fitness to practice is impaired because of her criminal conviction.

They have the power to suspend her from practising or strike her off the medical register.

McAllister had pleaded guilty to supplying Richard Bowditch, a fellow doctor, with diazepam between July 2014 and March 2015.

She also admitted that in May 2015 she had £10 worth of magic mushrooms at her home and a small amount of midazolam.

The new mother was suspended by NHS Tayside and is now on “unpaid maternity leave”.

Her lawyer Mark Stewart, QC, told the court hearing that McAllister had not been involved in a “commercial supply operation”.

He added: “She is someone held in high regard… that demonstrates, in the whole, we are dealing with a person who is a useful member of society.”

Sentencing McAllister, Judge Buchanan said the charges she admitted were “still of some seriousness”.