Eloise Parry: 'Vulnerable' woman died after taking diet pills

Eloise Parry Image copyright West Mercia Police
Image caption Eloise Parry died in 2015 after consuming eight Dinitrophenol (DNP) capsules

A "vulnerable" woman died after taking "slimming pills" containing chemicals used in World War One explosives, a court has heard.

Eloise Parry, 21, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire died in 2015 after consuming eight Dinitrophenol (DNP) capsules.

Bernard Rebelo is accused of buying the powder from a factory in China, and selling it on as tablets to people around the world, including Miss Parry.

The 32-year-old, of Gosport, Hampshire, denies manslaughter.

DNP is often advertised as a slimming product but known side effects include multiple organ failure, coma, and cardiac arrest.

During World War One it was used as a base material for munitions products.

During Mr Rebelo's trial at the Old Bailey, prosecutor Richard Barraclough QC told the jury online forums compared consuming the chemical to "Russian roulette," adding: "If you take it, you might live, or you might die."

Despite the dangers, Wrexham Glyndwr University student Miss Parry, who had been diagnosed with bulimia, "became at least psychologically addicted to and dependent on the chemical", the court heard.

The hearing was told DNP is particularly dangerous to those with eating disorders as the toxicity level is relative to a person's weight.

Prosecutors said Mr Rebelo bought DNP from a chemical factory in China from 2013, and sold it on his two websites, which have since been taken down.

Mr Barraclough said: "He knew it was dangerous, not only because one of his associates had consumed DNP and had suffered some of its toxic effects... but because it was well-known that any number of authorities and organisations were warning against the dangers of consuming the chemical."

The jury was told the proceedings were a retrial, following a Court of Appeal decision.

The trial continues.

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