Mr Jamie George was selling unlicensed weight loss supplements from his gym. He was convicted for supplying dangerous substances after pleading guilty and sentenced to 37 months in prison. He accordingly appealed.
Mr George based his appeal case around a comparison made by the trial sheriff. The trial sheriff compared his weight loss supplements to a controlled substance.
The supplements concerned are 2,4 – Dinitrophenol. A chemical often used in explosives and pesticides. They can have fatal consequences is used in an improper manner, such as a weight loss supplement.
Despite the substance not being illegal, following a report to food standards a warrant was obtained and Mr George’s home address was searched. Offices discovered a plethora of evidence most worryingly a package that stated the substance was not safe for humans to ingest.
When considering the sentence to be applied to Mr George, the sheriff did not believe that he was remorseful in any way about his conduct. This was despite the fact that he had a friend who was admitted into hospital after using Dinitrophenol. The appellant however maintained that the substance was marketed at those invested in fitness.
The sheriff was of the view that the substances was directly comparable to controlled substances and should be treated accordingly. I contrast, the appellants stated that this substance has a remarkably low death rate and was not a substance that could be compared to controlled substances and their associated sentencing guidelines. The sheriff was unconcerned by the arguments presented. The appellants had been leading the operation for 4 years on a commercial sale and knew the risks given the friend of his thatched been admitted to hospital.
Upon appeal, it was considered that although this was transactions on a commercial scale, the financial returns were not as large as anticipated.
After consideration was given to the lack of previous conviction, his employment and the job security of his employees and in his legitimate business (his gym), the starting point of 3 years in prison was decided. This was reduced to 28 months in recognition of the guilty plea.