Dr Karen Clark turned to crime after spiralling into alcoholism
Dr Karen Clark, who was earlier jailed for attacking police and nurses, stole more than £1,100 in cash and valuables to feed her addiction.
Yesterday, Sheriff Iona McDonald told her: “I like to give people the opportunity to change their lifestyles.
“If you don’t deal with the alcohol issue, you’ll end up dead.”
The former A&E doctor earlier admitted breaking into a hair salon in Ardrossan,
Ayrshire, and stealing money, a set of straighteners and hair products in February 2016.
She also pleaded guilty to being found at a pub in the town in circumstances reasonably suggesting the intention of theft.
However, her not guilty plea to breaking into a butcher’s shop and stealing cash, a charity tin and its contents was accepted at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.
Clark, 35, of Irvine, who appeared with background reports and a doctor’s letter, narrowly avoided an arrest warrant after failing to appear at an earlier hearing.
It [Alcohol] has taken me to a place that I can only describe as hell
Dr Karen Clark
She wept in the dock as the court heard there was no recovery of money or property from the hair salon raid.
It also emerged she was still on an 18-month community payback and alcohol treatment order for earlier offences but had not complied fully with the conditions.
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Sheriff McDonald said: “Miss Clark is highly intelligent and must not pay lip service to the orders. While she continues to drink, she offends.”
The sheriff warned Clark of the risk of death and urged her to take the chances offered.
Kilmarnock Sheriff Court
She added: “If there is a root cause, you of all people have been given the opportunity to deal with that.”
Clark was given 18 months’ supervision with an alcohol treatment requirement and a £500 compensation order, to be reviewed at a later date.
Sheriff McDonald told her: “Do your best, Miss Clark.”
Outside court, Clark did not comment on the ruling but said she was still suspended from practising as a doctor following earlier proceedings by the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service.
She has amassed three pages of prior convictions, including violence and drink driving. Clark also attacked four nurses after being taken to Crosshouse Hospital for treatment in July 2014.
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In other incidents, the medic, who worked at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, attacked police officers after being found drunk behind the wheel of her car.
Clark, who graduated in medicine in 2006, has worked in hospitals in Glasgow, Dumfries and Ayrshire. She left Glasgow Royal in 2013.
She previously told of her battle with alcoholism and the devastation wreaked on her life in a blog written while she was in rehab at Castle Craig Hospital near Peebles.
Clark wrote: “It has taken away so much of my spirit, broken bit by bit, so much of what defines me has gone at the moment.
Sheriff McDonald told her: 'Do your best, Miss Clark'
“I was designed to be strong, to stand up and give lectures to others, to save other people, to be the strong one. Being in this place physically and in my head, I am weak at the moment.”
She said she felt “euphoria” from her first drink at 15 but her alcoholism “really took off” in her 20s.
Clark recalled: “My substance of choice is alcohol. It has taken me to a place that I can only describe as hell.
“I functioned for a long time. In the past year I have been in accidents, horribly compromising situations, I have had countless hospital detoxes.
“I have compromised my relationship with my two sisters, with my parents and I lost my partner, my home, my life as I knew it.”