Jail time over poisoning

A pharmacist has reportedly been handed a one-year sentence for selling two women weedkiller

A 71-year-old pharmacist from a town in Belgium has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for fatally poisoning a 40-year-old woman with weedkiller, the Brussels Criminal Court ruled on Thursday.

Two women visited the pharmacist to buy a kilogram of magnesium sulphate after reading on the internet that it treated gallstones.

However the unnamed 71-year-old-pharmacist sold them sodium chlorate instead of magnesium sulphate, reports Belgian media.

The day after consuming the substance, the two women felt so unwell that they went to the hospital where they both fell into comas.

One of them died while the other woman survived but had to remain in the hospital for over a month in order to recover.

An investigation into the death showed that the woman had suffered from sodium chlorate poisoning.

Upon searching the woman’s home the police discovered a bag filled with sodium chlorate, which was labelled by a pharmacist as being magnesium sulphate.

Prosecutors held the accused pharmacist responsible for the victim’s death and requested an 18-month sentence. The defence, however, argued that neither the sale nor the cause of death was sufficiently proven.

The court sentenced the pharmacist to 12 months in prison.

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