PICTOU – A 19-year-old New Glasgow man has been handed a federal prison sentence for disobeying court orders and trying to “double doctor” a drug prescription.
Millan Douglas Billington was sentenced Thursday in Pictou provincial court after pleading guilty to six breach charges and one charge of “double doctoring” a prescription for medication.
He was sentenced to two years plus a day in federal prison based on a joint recommendation from both the federal and provincial Crowns as well as the defence.
“Hopefully he will get the structure and counseling required, so he can gain control of the shattered tatters of what his life his become,” said provincial Crown attorney Bill Gorman.
The dates of Billington’s offences occurred between May and September with the first breach involving the consumption of alcohol and staying out past his curfew.
The double-doctoring charge occurred on Sept. 14 when Billington visited both the local walk-in clinic and the Aberdeen Hospital’s emergency room on the same day, requesting that his prescription for diazepam, otherwise known as Valium, had run out.
Federal Crown Attorney Bronwyn Duffy told the court that Billington had received a prescription of 56 tablets by a doctor at the walk-in clinic in the Aberdeen Business Centre and took them to Lawton’s Drugs to be filled.
On the same day, he told a doctor in the Aberdeen Hospital’s emergency room that his prescription for diazepam needed to be refilled and he received a prescription for 10 pills that he attempted to have filled a short time later at Shoppers Drug Mart.
Duffy said when Billington tried to get the second prescription filled, MSI alerted the pharmacist that an identical claim was made earlier in the day. She said police were called to the pharmacy and Billington was arrested and escorted out of the store.
Duffy said a pre-sentence report stated Billington admitted to using many illicit drugs since the spring, including cocaine, hydromorphine and ecstasy shortly after his release from detox in the spring.
“He has failed miserably to stay away and maintain sobriety,” she said.
Gorman told the court that a period of federal custody was required for Billington because he has a “miserable track record in following direction from the court” and is considered an “unmanageable risk in the community.”
He came before the court Thursday with 31 prior convictions that included thefts, bail breaches, possession of a prohibited weapon, mischief and a prior drug charge.
“Over the last 12 to 14 month period, Billington has accumulated a significant criminal record,” he said.
Gorman said all “rehabilitative measures for non-jail have been exhausted,” so a federal custody sentence was warranted not only because it will not only give the accused access to more rehabilitative measures, but it would also send a message of deterrence and denunciation.
Defence lawyer Doug Lloy said his client agreed to the joint recommendation for federal time because he knows he needs a long-term rehabilitative plan.
“Insight is slowly coming to Mr. Billington,” he said. “He knows a federal sentence comes with a plethora of programs and this is where he should be.”
Billington told Judge Del Atwood he didn’t purposely try to double doctor the prescription, but has accepted the federal sentence in hopes of getting help for his addiction.
“I just want to get help and be normal,” he said. “I don’t know what else to do.”
Atwood sentenced Billington to four-month consecutive sentences on six of the charges and a one-day sentence for the last charge involving the possession of a drug not legally prescribed.
He added that the accused’s actions show “flagrant violations of court orders” and illustrated a belief that the law doesn’t apply to him.
As part of the sentence, Atwood ordered that Billington be part of an intensive substance abuse counselling at the earliest opportunity in hopes that he will be get the help he needs to turn his life around.
“He suffers from an extremely severe drug addiction, but he is not beyond the hope of rehabilitation,” the judge said.