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Man launches conviction challenge over bulimic student’s slimming pills death

Bulimic student Eloise Parry, who died after taking toxic diet pills she bought online from dealer Bernard Rebelo. He is now seeking to chal Photo: West Mercia Police/PA

A man who sold toxic slimming pills online which killed a bulimic student is launching a bid to challenge his conviction.

Bernard Rebelo, from Gosport, Hampshire, who is serving a seven-year jail sentence, will have his case reviewed on Wednesday by Court of Appeal judges in London.

He was jailed in June last year after being found guilty by a jury of the manslaughter of 21-year-old Eloise Parry, from Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

She died in hospital on April 12 2015 after taking eight tablets containing the poisonous Dinitrophenol (DNP).

Rebelo, 31, was sentenced to a total of seven years at Inner London Crown Court after being convicted of two counts of manslaughter and one of placing unsafe food on the market.

His application for permission to appeal against conviction will be heard by Sir Brian Leveson, Mr Justice William Davis and Mr Justice Murray.

When sentencing, Judge Jeremy Donne described Miss Parry as an “intelligent, articulate young woman who struggled with her mental health”.

Miss Parry died after becoming dependent on the pills Credit: Harrow Council/PA

He told Rebelo: “She thought she had found in your so-called fat-burning capsules a magic solution for her distorted body-image and difficulties with bulimia nervosa. She was of course quite wrong.”

The court heard Miss Parry started taking the chemical in pill form in February 2015, and soon became addicted and dependent on the yellow powder in the capsules.

Rebelo admitted while giving evidence during his trial that he sold DNP to Miss Parry.

He said he included a warning on his website that the substance was not for human consumption.

The court heard that among other things, DNP could cause multiple organ failure, hypothermia, nausea, coma, muscle rigidity, cardiac arrest and death.

Felicity Gerry QC, defending, described Rebelo as a “devoted family man” with a young child.

She told the court: “It is not a case where there is any intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm.”

Rebelo was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter relating to one victim.

Judge Donne explained that this was because the prosecution alleged Rebelo committed the offence in two “distinct” ways – death resulting from his “unlawful and dangerous act”, and death resulting from his “gross negligence”.