Guernsey

Cancer 'cure' boss David Noakes jailed for 15 months

David Noakes outside Southwark Crown Court
Image caption David Noakes said his company had 10,000 customers

The founder of a company selling a so-called cancer cure has been jailed for 15 months.

David Noakes, of Waldershare near Dover, Kent, illegally made and distributed GcMAF globally from the UK.

His company Immuno Biotech made millions selling the substance online, Southwark Crown Court heard.

The 65-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to money laundering and manufacturing, supplying and selling an unlicensed medicine.

'Vulnerable people'

Sentencing him, Judge Nicholas Lorraine-Smith said: "It is not GcMAF that is on trial."

He said Noakes "firmly" believed GcMAF had helped and would help people but had showed a "reckless disregard for the regulatory regime".

He had sold it to "extremely vulnerable people" and the fact it was freely available for sale on the internet was "horrifying", the judge added.

Judge Lorraine-Smith told Noakes the evidence pointed "very strongly to personal gain becoming a motive as your business developed" and he had "no doubt that almost from the beginning you knew that what you were doing was unlawful".

Image caption Noakes's estranged wife Lorraine helped distribute the blood plasma product from her home in Bournemouth

Guernsey-based Immuno Biotech sold the unlicensed human blood product through its website to an estimated 10,000 people, Noakes told the court last week.

The supply was discovered when the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) raided a Cambridge laboratory in January 2015, and warned the public GcMAF may pose a significant risk to people's health.

Between 2011 and the MHRA raid, Immuno Biotech made £7.9m from the sale of products with Noakes spending nearly £1m of it on planes, Southwark Crown Court heard.

It was marketed as a cure for autism, HIV and cancer, although Noakes admitted he was constantly "toning down" the claims and no-longer said GcMAF was a cancer cure.

Cancer Research UK and the National Autistic Society were among those who have raised concerns about the product and Guernsey's government banned its importation in February 2015.

Noakes was sentenced to 12-month terms for each of four offences relating to the unlicensed medicine to run concurrently, and to a further three months for money laundering.

He was also disqualified as a company director for eight years.

Immuno Biotech scientist Dr Rodney Smith, 55, of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire was jailed for eight months after admitting five charges relating to the manufacture, possession and sale and supply of unlicensed medicine.

Another scientist, Emma Ward, 44, also of Huntingdon, was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years and also ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to five charges relating to unlicensed medicine.

'Killing people'

Lorraine Noakes, 58 of Ringwood, Hampshire, was given a six-month sentence suspended for two years on both counts and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work after admitting two counts of selling and supplying the unlicensed substance at an earlier hearing.

Noakes' estranged wife distributed the GcMAF by packing it in vials in flasks bought from household retailer Wilko,.

A statement from Guernsey's health committee said due to "the decision to ban the importation of this unlicensed and untested product, both staff and politicians were subjected to abuse and accusations the likes of which we have never seen before and sincerely hope to never see again."

It said politicians and officers were "publicly accused of being corrupt and killing people", but carried out their "overarching aim to protect the community".

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