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UK: Steroids gave me beard, woman tells drug trial

News and Star, Carlisle

Tuesday 12 Dec 2006

A WOMAN has described how she ballooned to 14st and grew a beard when she was given anabolic steroids after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Lezley Gibson then told a jury how her condition improved when she was with her future husband and his friends, who were recreational users of cannabis.

The 42-year-old, who is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court for conspiracy to supply the drug, then added: “When I partook, it (the MS) did not bother me much at all.”

Gibson is in the dock alongside her husband Mark, also 42, and Marcus Davies, 38, who lives in St Ives, Cambridgeshire. All three deny two charges covering the years 2004 and 2005.

The Gibsons say they supplied free cannabis chocolate bars to MS sufferers who could provide medical evidence of their condition, while Davies set up a website for them and ran a PO Box number.

Lezley Gibson, who lives in Front Street, Alston, sat in the witness box yesterday afternoon and described how she was officially diagnosed with MS in February 1985, just before her 21st birthday.

She had trained as a hairdresser and beaten Andrew Collinge and Nicky Clarke, men who went on to become top stylists, in competitions. MS ended her career hopes.

She said: “I was going to open my own business but I was told that in five years I would be incontinent and in a wheelchair.” She told her barrister that neither of those things had happened.

She had never taken any other conventional medicine after being given the anabolic steroids which saw her weight rise from seven-and-a-half stones to 14st. She also grew the beard.

She spent a total of 10 weeks in hospital and said: “They (medical staff) taught me how to walk and talk again and they told me to use margarine rather than butter.

“They did not offer me anything at all. I would not have taken it anyway. I found all I could about MS. I read all the books. I met Mark in 1986.

“Mark and his friends were recreational users (of cannabis).When I was with them my MS was better. When I partook, it did not bother me much at all. I used to smoke cigarettes so it was not a big deal to have a spliff.”

Gibson said she was given a conditional discharge in 1989 for two counts of possessing cannabis and in 2000 was cleared at the Carlisle Crown Court of a similar charge after using a defence of medicinal necessity.

She said she then made a series of appearance on TV and radio which led to a whole string of MS sufferers getting in touch with her. She told how she and Mark Gibson began supplying the cannabis chocolate when a women sufferer in the Orkneys became too ill to carry on doing it.

She said she would probably have carried on doing if she had not been arrested and charged.

Earlier Michael Wood, a former solicitor, told how he was a regular user of the Canna-biz produced by the Gibsons. He said from his wheelchair: “It has great benefit to my condition, to my problems.”

The trial continues.




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