Woman who admitted sale of slimming tablets given more time to pay legal costs

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Court: Lydia McCarthy admitted selling the potentially dangerous slimming tablets
Court: Lydia McCarthy admitted selling the potentially dangerous slimming tablets

A DUBLIN woman, who admitted unlawfully supplying potentially dangerous slimming tablets, has been allowed more time to pay €3,250 in legal costs.

Mother-of-two Lydia McCarthy, with an address at Alexandra Place, East Road, East Wall, has admitted using mail order and advertising the medication on popular websites. A hearing will be held at Dublin District Court in October when the prosecution evidence will be given.

She is awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to 16 counts of breaking medicinal products regulations and has been ordered to pay prosecution legal costs.

Yesterday, Judge John O'Neill noted that she has paid €500 towards the costs and is making efforts to come up with the money despite being of limited means.

Judge O'Neill has heard a summary of the facts of the case and adjourned it until a date in October when the prosecution's evidence in full will be heard.

He also told her she needed to make further inroads in relation to paying the fees resulting from the cost of getting the medicines analysed in the State Laboratory.

She has already been given a year to pay the fees and expenses incurred by the Irish Medicines Board, now called the Health Products Regulatory Authority.

The court has also to consider any other penalties which include fines or a possible jail sentence.

She admitted she imported, supplied and advertised prescription controlled products containing Sibutramine, a substance which has been withdrawn from markets across the world.

She admitted importing “Reduce 15mg” on dates in September 2012 and April 2013, without being granted a manufacturer's authorisation by the IMB. She kept the product for supply and supplied the medicine over four dates in September and August 2012

Three other counts to which she pleaded guilty state she unlawfully supplied Reduce 15mg by “mail order” between August 6, 2012 and September 6, 2012.

She has also admitted that she unlawfully procured the sale of the medicine and placed it on the market without authorisation.

She also pleaded guilty to the unlawfully advertising slimming medicines on websites between August 1 and September 28, 2012. These included the medicines: Reduce 15mg, Reductil and Reductal, which all contained Sibutramine.

She also admitted that in one of the online ads she did not clearly identify Reduce 15mg as a medicinal product.

When she entered guilty pleas to 16 charges the prosecution had agreed to drop another 19 counts.