Gosport man on trial for manslaughter after woman dies from slimming pills
A YOUNG woman died after taking slimming pills that contained chemicals used in First World War explosives, a court has heard.
Bernard Rebelo, 32, from Gosport, is on trial at The Old Bailey after being charged with the manslaughter of Eloise Parry, 21, who died in 2015 after consuming eight Dinitrophenol (DNP) capsules.
He is accused of buying the powder from a chemical factory in China, and selling it on as tablets to people around the world, including Ms Parry.
Rebelo denies the charge.
The yellow powder is often advertised as a slimming product but the known side effects include multiple organ failure, coma, and cardiac arrest.
During the First World War it had been used as a base material for munitions products.
On Tuesday, prosecutor Richard Barraclough QC said: ‘If you take it, you might live, or you might die.’
The court also heard about Miss Parry’s desperation and fear of death after taking the pills.
Messaging a friend, she said: ‘It's not going to matter how skinny I am if I'm dead.
‘I don't want to die, I never meant to hurt myself, I just felt so desperate.
‘I've been trying so hard to be okay with my body and myself that I pushed down all of those negative feelings instead of dealing with them.’
The prosecution argues Rebelo knew about the dangers of the substance.
Mr Barraclough added: ‘He knew it was dangerous – one of his associates had consumed DNP and had suffered some of its toxic effects.’