Slim-drug stu­dent was ‘de­feated’, court told

Western Mail - - NEWS - HE­LEN WIL­LIAM news­desk@waleson­

ABULIMIC stu­dent who died after tak­ing a toxic slim­ming aid she bought on­line had seemed “de­feated” and “frag­ile” in the weeks be­fore her death, a court has heard.

Eloise Parry, 21, died in April 2015 after tak­ing eight diet pills con­tain­ing the highly toxic chem­i­cal Dini­tro­phe­nol (DNP).

Nu­tri­tion­ist Sally Cow­man met her sev­eral times be­tween Oc­to­ber 2014 and April 2015. Ms Parry had sought guid­ance as she suf­fered from de­pres­sion, a per­son­al­ity disor­der and an eat­ing disor­der, she said.

Ms Parry – a stu­dent at Glyn­dwr Uni­ver­sity in Wrex­ham – weighed 10st 3lb, which was “a healthy weight” for her 5ft 10in frame, but she wanted to get down to 9st 7lb, ac­cord­ing to Ms Cow­man.

Re­call­ing an in­for­mal meet­ing on April 9, she yes­ter­day told In­ner Lon­don Crown Court: “She just seemed de­feated. Her weight had dropped, but I had no idea of what weight she had gone down to.

“She looked frag­ile and that her spirit was bro­ken. She still thought she was over­weight.

“She did not like her body. She had been ex­er­cis­ing at a sports club be­fore we met in order to lose more weight.”

Say­ing that Miss Parry had spo­ken in a mat­ter-of-fact kind of way, Ms Cow­man noted “there was sim­ply no emo­tion there”.

Ms Parry had men­tioned try­ing to be ad­mit­ted to an in-pa­tient ward.

Ms Cow­man said that “she had al­ways done things to help her­self and she was at an ab­so­lute loss, and needed some­body to take care of her­self pro­fes­sion­ally at that point”.

Al­bert Huynh, 33, Bernard Re­belo, 30, and Mary Roberts, 32, all deny Ms Parry’s man­slaugh­ter.

They are also charged with sup­ply­ing an “un­safe” food sup­ple­ment con­tain­ing DNP on the mar­ket be­tween Fe­bru­ary 24, 2014, and Fe­bru­ary 24, 2016.

Roberts de­nies a fur­ther charge of money laun­der­ing by al­legedly trans­fer­ring £20,000 for and on be­half of Re­belo.

Ms Cow­man said Ms Parry first men­tioned DNP to her in a tele­phone call in late March to early April, and said she was us­ing it for weight loss.

She told the court: “She told me that she knew it could have dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences.”

Ms Cow­man said, upon their first meet­ing, she had thought Ms Parry was “in­tel­li­gent, had a bright spirit and was tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for her health”.

Ms Cow­man said she heard of her death weeks later in a me­dia re­port.

Ms Parry started tak­ing the chem­i­cal in pill form in Fe­bru­ary 2015, the court has heard.

In the weeks be­fore her death, Ms Parry – who had a his­tory of self­harm­ing – was ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal nu­mer­ous times, suf­fer­ing from the ef­fects of tak­ing the chem­i­cal.

She sent des­per­ate mes­sages to her friends telling them she wanted to stop tak­ing the pills, but was “psy­cho­log­i­cally ad­dicted” and knew that feel­ing her tem­per­a­ture rise meant her fat was burn­ing, jurors heard.

Be­tween Fe­bru­ary and April 2015 the stu­dent al­legedly made mul­ti­ple pur­chases of DNP from the de­fen­dants’ web­site.

It is al­leged the de­fen­dants were op­er­at­ing from a flat in Har­row, north-west Lon­don, and made the cap­sules, which they sold on­line for big prof­its.

Huynh, 33, from Northolt, north­west Lon­don, Re­belo, 30, and Roberts, 32, both from Gosport, in Hamp­shire, deny two counts each of man­slaugh­ter, and one count each of sup­ply­ing an un­safe food.

Yes­ter­day’s hear­ing was cut short when a ju­ror fell ill.

A note was passed to the judge be­fore she was helped to stay steady on her feet by a fel­low ju­ror and moved slowly out of the court­room.

The hear­ing was ad­journed to to­day.

> Eloise Parry died in 2015 after tak­ing slim­ming pills

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