A FORMER Ambulance Tasmania paramedic who self-medicated with controlled drugs from his workplace has changed his plea to guilty at the last minute.
Timothy James Millwood, 50, of Longford, had pleaded not guilty to all of his charges almost a year ago.
A hearing was scheduled for yesterday morning.
Millwood, however, pleaded guilty in the Launceston Magistrates Court yesterday to 13 counts of having stolen morphine, one count of having used morphine, one count of having stolen the sedative midazolam, and one count of having possessed midazolam.
Police prosecutor Brad Collins told the court that Millwood's offending occurred during his employment as a paramedic at Launceston and Mowbray ambulance stations between June and July last year.
Millwood stole 35 ampoules of morphine and one ampoule of midazolam.
An audit revealed that Millwood had accessed drug storages on his days off, during sick leave or while on annual leave.
Police found an ampoule and syringes in Millwood's car.
Officers also found empty and broken ampoules in his Longford home.
Millwood told police he injected morphine into his thigh for his knee pain.
Defence solicitor Adrian Hall told the court that his client was not addicted to morphine and no longer used it.
He said Millwood had resigned from Ambulance Tasmania on Friday, where he had been a paramedic for nine years.
``Despite it ending in acrimonious circumstances, Mr Millwood has done a great deal of good for our community and has saved a number of lives,'' Mr Hall said.
Mr Hall said the morphine ampoules cost 85 each, which was very little, but he accepted there were aggravating factors.
Chief Magistrate Michael Hill ordered a pre-sentence report for Millwood and said options included community service and supervised probation.
``The breach of trust for a person in your situation is significant,'' he told Millwood.
Millwood will be sentenced on December 11 at 2.15pm.