Shannan O'Farrell 'fraudulently' obtains fentanyl script, awaits sentence

A repeat offender who acted “fraudulently” to get a hit of a potent prescription painkiller awaits sentence.

Shannan Geoffrey O’Farrell, 32, appeared before a Dubbo magistrate in a case that underlined the dangers of fentanyl.

The prescription opioid obtained in 2017 as a result of his offences was used by O’Farrell and another person, who overdosed and had to be revived by paramedics, Dubbo Local Court heard.

The Dubbo man pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining property by deception, and dealing with identity information to commit an indictable offence.

Court documents show O’Farrell used the name and other identification information of a woman known to him to obtain scripts fraudulently.

He went to Wellington Hospital on January 14, 2017, presented her Medicare card and concession card as his own and was supplied with scripts for fentanyl.

Later that day police and ambulance were called to a Dubbo unit, to reports of a suspected overdose.

Paramedics provided treatment to a woman of the same name the script was made out to who had collapsed, the documents show.

The accused was also at the premises.

Police established O’Farrell had recently used fentanyl, sharing a patch with the woman who had subsequently overdosed and was revived by paramedics, the documents show.

In court the defence noted the matters arose from 18 months earlier.

O’Farrell’s solicitor submitted a good behaviour bond was appropriate.

He said at the time of the offence his client was a “drug addict”.

“He was using opioids,” the solicitor said.

“He’s no longer using.”

The defence submitted there was limited need for specific and general deterrence, but the prosecution disagreed.

“People die from fentanyl,” the police prosecutor said.

People die from fentanyl.

The police prosecutor

“People have died this year from fentanyl, there are Coroner’s Court cases going on.”

Magistrate Gary Wilson rejected the defence submission about deterrence.

Mr Wilson said the case involved a “degree of planning”, and “fraudulent” activity, and O’Farrell had a significant criminal history of “similar and like matters”.

At the request of the defence the court ordered a pre-sentence report be prepared and the matter was adjourned to September 27.