A FORMER paramedic from Rossendale filled in blank prescriptions and used them to obtain drugs.

Blackburn magistrates heard that at the time of the offences Andrew Mills was subject to a suspended prison sentence imposed for identical offences which had cost him his job as an ambulance man.

Mills, 31, of Market Street, Whitworth, pleaded guilty to three charges of using a false prescription and admitted commission of further offences during the operational period of a suspended prison sentence.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay £115 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

He was also fined £60 for breaching the suspended prison sentence during the operational period.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Mills had been able to gain access to blank prescriptions as a result of his former employment as a paramedic.

"He has written the prescriptions out himself and not just altered them," said Miss Allan.

She said similar offences in 2016 had lead to the suspended prison sentence and him losing his job with the ambulance service in Northampton.

Jeremey Frain, defending, said his client accepted the offences were committed within the period of the suspended sentence although that had ended in May.

He said Mills had a promising career in the ambulance service and had been fast tracked to a supervisory position.

"As a result he would attend a lot of the more serious incidents, often where there were fatalities and suicides.

"One case in particular involved the death of a child who was burned in a car that caught fire," said Mr Frain. "That was the catalyst for him not being able to cope any more.

"He committed the offences in Northampton and then lost his job which was everything to him."

He said Mills had moved back to Lancashire but still didn't get the help he needed until after he committed the latest offences in November and December.

"He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and is now receiving help," added Mr Frain.