Struck-off pharmacist attacks official

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The Independent Online

A pharmacist became violent during a disciplinary hearing and attacked a legal official with an iron bar.

Edwin Ashby, 61, was told by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society yesterday that he was to be struck off after 37 complaints against him - including assaulting a colleague and stealing medicine - were upheld.

When Peter Fraser QC told Mr Ashby that he could be suffering a "disorder of the mind", the former pharmacist vaulted a table and shouted: "I've had enough of your bloody bullshit." He demanded that Lord Fraser read out a letter and, when he declined, Mr Ashby pulled out a 10-inch iron bolt and attacked the RPS's interim head of professional conduct, Desmond Fitzgerald. Mr Fitzgerald was taken to hospital for treatment.

After hearing the outburst, Lord Fraser told Mr Ashby: "If anything has confirmed our view, you just have." Mr Ashby, originally from Australia, was taken to Kennington police station in London for questioning.