A paramedic couple in the U.K. who preyed on vital medications of dying patients to feed their drug addiction has been sentenced to jail. The duo posed as nurses to steal morphine and painkillers from the houses of terminally ill patients.

Ruth Lambert, 33, and Jessica Silvester, 29, two female paramedics from Kent, in southeastern England, stole medication prescribed to the patients who were receiving end-of-life care. They were sentenced to jail for five years each after they pleaded guilty to charges of conspiring to burgle and conspiring to commit theft, ITV reported Wednesday.

The couple had access to patient records through their work as paramedics with the South East Coast Ambulance Service and visited the addresses posing as nurses where they committed the burglary. After one of them collected the addresses of the victims from patient records, the other one would enter the houses based on those details, an investigation revealed. The duo who worked in tandem has carried out 29 burglaries in and around Kent.

The investigation revealed that the couple also collected the medication from three houses by convincing the residents around that they were from the health department collecting medicines after the patients died.

The stolen medication included morphine and painkillers prescribed for terminally ill patients to make their final days comfortable. "This was an extraordinarily callous and uncaring form of exploitation of the most vulnerable people often when they were terminally ill or dying or in some cases when they had actually died," the judge said during the sentencing, Kent Online reported.

The couple was identified through CCTV footage and was arrested in August 2021 after the police received multiple complaints of burglaries. While the investigators executed a search at the couple's residence in Gap Road, Margate, they found medications that had the names of other people, nurses' uniforms, and a computer stolen from the health department, the report said.

“Their behavior was a clear and targeted abuse of their position and does not reflect the commitment and integrity of our staff. As soon as we became aware of the allegations, we took swift action to suspend and then dismiss both individuals, working closely with Kent Police," said Dr. Fionna Moore, the Medical Director for South East Coast Ambulance Service, where the couple worked.

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