Chemist allowed to remain practising after “retard” jibe

Charles Shanks. Picture: submitted
Charles Shanks. Picture: submitted
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A PHARMACIST who branded a customer a “retard” in an abusive Facebook rant has been issued with a warning – and allowed to keep working.

Charles Shanks, who runs Calder Pharmacy in Calder Park, was the subject of a complaint in April last year after a customer was told the pain relief medication her dad needed as part of his cancer prescription was out of stock.

Picture: Facebook

Picture: Facebook

In an astonishing rant, Mr Shanks said the customer had gone “total retard” and threatened: “All my lovely staff know just where I’m coming from and what I will do when said f***tard comes in tomorrow.”

The post on his Facebook page – which was available to the public – said: “So tonight some f***tard commented on Facebook how us at Calder Pharmacy were not doing our jobs properly or being professional.

“Sorry deary but no matter how good we are we cannot conjure up drugs we don’t have in stock from f******* fresh air.

“How that makes us unprofessional I don’t f******* know but maybe if we were at Hogwarts instead of Calder Pharmacy we might have managed it.

“Look forward to seeing you tomorrow when you come in to pick up said drugs.

“I certainly won’t leave you with the shirt on your back you total f***tard.”

Shocked NHS chiefs immediately launched a probe into the incident, but the General Pharmaceutical Council issued Mr Shanks, 54, with a warning – placing no restrictions on his ability to practise as a pharmacist.

Jill Rennie, the customer referenced in his rant, yesterday said she was “really shocked” he had been let off.

She said she had yet to be formally notified of the judgement, despite providing a statement.

And the 33-year-old insisted she would have taken further action herself had her terminally ill dad not died just weeks after the abusive post.

She said: “I would have felt bad if he had lost his whole career over an incident with me, but I certainly think he should have got something more than a warning.”

She said she now avoided the row of shops around Calder Pharmacy for fear of coming face-to-face with Mr Shanks.

A statement from the General Pharmaceutical Council said: “The warning has been issued to ensure public confidence in the profession and the regulatory process and to protect the public by reminding the registrant concerned to adhere to all legal and professional obligations in their practice in the future.”

Mr Shanks, who teaches self-defence in his spare time and has worked at the pharmacy since 2004, declined to comment.

But he confirmed he was still running the pharmacy and had “never been away”.