A York Hospital doctor stole enough drugs prescribed to patients to fill a suitcase, York magistrates heard.

Dr Samia Naz Siddiqui used her position at the hospital to repeatedly take morphine, the chemical name of heroin, or cyclizine, which is used to treat nausea and travel sickness, instead of giving them to patients over a four-month period, said Martin Butterworth, prosecuting.

She then took the stolen drugs herself, sometimes in the hospital, sometimes at home.

When police searched her house, they found a large suitcase full of ampoules and syringes that had contained the drugs and other drug-taking equipment.

“There is a suggestion she has picked a particular time when the wards were particularly quiet to administer drugs,” said Mr Butterworth.

“Rather than administer the whole drug, she has then gone on to use it herself at the hospital or home.”

But on New Year’s Day, he said, security staff caught Siddiqui in a hospital theatre when she shouldn’t have been there, with blood-tipped syringes that had recently been used and other medical items in her handbag which triggered investigations by police and hospital staff.

Siddiqui has since been sacked and the General Medical Council (GMC) has started disciplinary proceedings against her.

Her solicitor Nicholas Darwin said: “As a result of this offence no patient suffered and no harm was caused to any patient as a result of this offence. That is, as far as Samia Siddiqui is concerned, the most important thing.”

He reserved the rest of her mitigation until she is sentenced.

Siddiqui, 36, of Crossways, off Hull Road, York, who was described in court as a plastic surgery specialist, pleaded guilty to theft by an employee of morphine, cyclizine and needles from York Hospital between September 4 and January 1. The prosecution cannot say how much of each drug she took.

Magistrates decided the case was too serious for them to deal with and sent Siddiqui to York Crown Court to be sentenced by a judge. They released her on bail until a hearing there in a few weeks’ time.

A spokesman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “When vigilant trust staff recognised what was happening, the individual was immediately reported to the police, who investigated fully. The individual was excluded from the premises, and the trust carried out its own investigation, working closely with the General Medical Council. As a result of these actions, the member of staff has been dismissed, and is no longer employed by the Trust.”

The GMC held an interim disciplinary hearing on Dr Siddiqui on January 20 and since then she has been restricted on how she can practise medicine in this country.

She qualified as a doctor at the University of Punjab in India in 2002. She started work at York Hospital on September 4.

Morphine can only be prescribed, dispensed and used under the tightest restrictions of any prescription drug. Cyclizine is a prescription anti-histamine drug.