Eloise Parry: Woman denies causing Shrewsbury student's diet pills death

A businesswoman accused of selling deadly diet pills that killed Shrewsbury Eloise Parry has denied manslaughter.

Eloise Parry
Eloise Parry

Eloise died aged 21 on April 12, 2015, within hours of taking pills containing an industrial chemical called DNP.

Mary Roberts, 32, from Southall, west London, pleaded not guilty to being responsible for Miss Parry's death when she appeared at the Old Bailey in London today. She also denied laundering £20,000.

Roberts and her business partners Albert Huynh, 32, and Bernard Rebelo, 30, face a charge of manslaughter and another charge of placing the food supplements on the market.

Roberts denied all the charges, including a third count of money laundering relating to allegations that she transferred £20,000 for, and on behalf of Rebelo.

Huynh, from Northolt, West London, who has not entered any pleas to the charges against him, is due to appear for an application to dismiss the charges on 18 December.

At a previous hearing last month Rebelo, from Beckton, east London, also pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and placing DNP on the market.

A trial date is set for April 30 next year.

DNP, which is also available as a powder, is not a controlled substance despite being linked to several previous deaths in the UK and overseas.

The industrial chemical, which is unfit for human consumption, was the subject of an Interpol warning notice issued to 190 countries.

An inquest found that Miss Parry had taken eight unlicensed tablets containing dinitrophenol (DNP), which she bought on-line.

Shropshire Coroner John Ellery, ruled that her death was accidental, and said he would be writing to the Government urging a review of the classification of DNP, which is marketed on-line as a "fat burning" pill.

He said: "This is something I am going to raise with the appropriate minister.

"This is clearly a dangerous, toxic and fatal substance which should not be accessible, certainly not to persons seeking unlicensed non-prescribed medication."

The inquest heard heartbreaking details of Miss Parry's final hours and how she had sent a text message saying she knew she was going to die and drove herself to hospital.

In the message, sent around four hours before her death, she apologised to her university lecturer for "being so stupid".

Miss Parry's mother, Fiona, has since campaigned to stop the sale of DNP and to warn about the dangers posed by the chemical.

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