A Birmingham pharmacist who put lactulose in a pre-registration trainee’s water bottle and has lost his job since the incident has been cleared of acting maliciously.
Shahan Mir admitted putting 1ml of lactulose in Farah Abdulquader’s bottle while supervising her pre-reg placement at Boots in Fort Shopping Park. He said he wanted to “shock” her into following the company’s hygiene protocols after she had repeatedly left her water bottle unattended in the dispensary.
Ms Abdulquader took a sip from her bottle but spat it out when she noticed how sweet it was, and complained of having mild diarrhoea and vomiting later that day.
Mr Mir told the police he “never intended” for her to drink it and that he had wanted to tell her beforehand but had to deal with a customer. He had a “good relationship” with the trainee, he said.
The “yellow and sticky substance” in the bottle was clearly visible, he added.
The incident, which took place on March 21 2018 and was filmed on CCTV, was not premeditated, Mr Mir said in his police interview.
At the trial in Birmingham Crown Court, prosecutor Andrew Baker told the jury: "You may be shocked that someone who is a qualified pharmacist, a professional man could spike somebody with something that is deeply unpleasant."
Christopher Hopkins, defending, said Mr Mir’s “moment of madness” had cost him dearly”. Mr Mir had lost his job at Boots since the incident and has not succeeded in finding another job, Mr Hopkins said.
The jury found Mr Mir not guilty of causing Ms Abdulquader to take a noxious thing with intent to annoy her.
After the verdict was handed down Mr Mir’s solicitor, Manjinder Kang, said: "The last 12 months have been a very difficult time for him and his family.
"He has not worked for 12 months and his wife has recently given birth to their second child.
"It has been a traumatic and stressful time for him.
“He has maintained from the outset that what he did was not a wise thing to do but then hindsight is a wonderful thing.
"He is relieved and a weight has been taken off his shoulders. He is delighted the jury have seen the evidence for what it really was. With hindsight he accepted his behaviour was not the ideal way of doing things.
"Throughout he had no intention of causing any harm, injury or annoyance."