Pharmacy manager denies turning blind eye to anorexia

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    A pharmacy manager said she had no ‘ethical dilemma’ ordering 5000 laxatives a week for a young mother before she died of anorexia, an inquest has heard.

    An inquest into the death of Adelaide woman Claudia La Bella, 28, began on Monday. She died on June 29, 2014 from complications associated with laxative abuse.

    Former Chemist King Hectorville retail manager Jessica Cutting told state Coroner Mark Johns on Thursday that she ordered boxes of laxatives for Mrs La Bella before her death, according to the Advertiser.

    At the time of her death, family, friends and her husband John thought she had died from ovarian cancer.

    They have since learned she lied about having a terminal illness but instead suffered from a secret eating disorder.

    An inquest into the death of Adelaide woman Claudia La Bella, 28, began on Monday

    An inquest into the death of Adelaide woman Claudia La Bella, 28, began on Monday

    At the time of her death, family, friends and her husband John thought she had died from ovarian cancer

    At the time of her death, family, friends and her husband John thought she had died from ovarian cancer

    At the time of her death, family, friends and her husband John thought she had died from ovarian cancer

    John said she insisted on going to doctor's appointments by herself

    John said she insisted on going to doctor's appointments by herself

    John said she insisted on going to doctor’s appointments by herself

    Ms Cutting said Mrs La Bella and her husband would buy up to 25 boxes of 200 laxative tablets a week.

    The tablets were valued at $480.

    Ms Cutting said she was told the laxatives were being put into Mrs La Bella’s chemotherapy drip.

    She said at the time the story did not seem ‘ridiculous’.

    Counsel assisting the coroner Kathryn Waite asked Ms Cutting about the sales targets the shop had.

    ‘These regular sales of hundreds of dollars is going to keep the boss happy, isn’t it?,’ Ms Waite asked.

    ‘If he looks at sales, yes,’ Ms Cutting replied.

    Ms Cutting said she had no ethical dilemma making the bulk orders for Mrs La Bella’s laxatives.

    She said she though Mrs La Bella had an eating disorder but was then told she had ovarian cancer.

    Ms Cutting at first denied knowing about the link between anorexia and laxative abuse but then admitted that wasn’t true.

    She said she believed the tablets were being used to fight Mrs La Bella’s cancer. 

    The court previously heard Mrs La Bella’s cancer claim was an ‘elaborate ruse’, and her husband John said she insisted on going to doctor’s appointments by herself.

    When Mrs La Bella died she weighed just 35 kilograms and a CT scan showed she had ingested 'dozens of pills'

    When Mrs La Bella died she weighed just 35 kilograms and a CT scan showed she had ingested 'dozens of pills'

    When Mrs La Bella died she weighed just 35 kilograms and a CT scan showed she had ingested ‘dozens of pills’

    ‘I trusted her,’ Mr La Bella said.

    ‘She’s an adult, not a child. I took her word.’

    When Mrs La Bella died she weighed just 35 kilograms and a CT scan showed she had ingested ‘dozens of pills’.

    The court heard she had been spending about $500 a week on laxative tablets before she died.

    Her employer, an Adelaide architect, claimed she stole $374,000 from the business while managing its accounts.

    The coronial inquest is expected to continue for at least five days. 

    The court heard she had been spending about $500 a week on laxative tablets before she died

    The court heard she had been spending about $500 a week on laxative tablets before she died

    The court heard she had been spending about $500 a week on laxative tablets before she died

     

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