Slim-drug student was ‘defeated’, court told
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