Triamazon Man Convicted

You may remember in January that I reported how dawn raids had been conducted on the house of a man selling a quack remedy called Triamazon. Well, today the BBC report that Andrew Harris of Sale, near Manchester, was ‘convicted under the Cancer Act of 1939 of taking part in the publication of adverts offering to treat people for cancer.’

Triamazon appeared to be a fairly mundane herbal remedy, ordinarily costing a few quid, that Harris was repackaging and selling for £500 for a ‘full course’  to desperate people with cancer. The Cancer Act of 1930 makes it illegal to make such claims or offer advice and treatment.
Most quackery is pretty harmless – taking money from the gullible. But peddling useless pills to the desperately ill, in my opinion, has to be the lowest form of quackery. For this offense, Harris was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 costs.
I am hardly a ‘slam ‘em away and throw away the key’ sort of person, but I feel this is somewhat light. A conditional discharge means that Harris will not be punished unless he commits further crimes within two years. 
His web site is still up. However, a notice has now appeared saying,

Due to Legal Reasons This Site is Temporarily Unavailable
Pending an Appeal on Human Rights Issues.
If you would like to contact Andrew Harris Personally
Please Send him an Email at 

 

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Please re-visit us soon.


Clearly, Harris believes some sort of miscariage of justice has taken place and his human rights have been abused. Quite what rights have been trampled upon is not clear. Telephone numbers and email addresses are still on the site asking for people to contact him. The rest of the site is still up with all the old claims being made (see here). I am not a legal expert, but my best guess would be that this would be in breach of the conditions of discharge.

Adverts for Triamazon have been appearing all over the net in message boards and through free press releases, directing traffic to this site. Most of the claims about this product are still out there on the web. Funnily, shortly after I reported on the dawn raids, the same press release company hosted a number of threatening and libelous diatribes against me and this site. I also received an email and comments from someone claming to be Harris, saying “I will have a private investigator to locate you”, and “you owe me a hug[sic] apology you are damaging my name and a good truthfull[sic] business with your slader[sic] carry on and we will see what your actions will cause you to lose legally.” Hardly prophetic words. I hope that no-one is tempted to repeat these sort of threats and menaces.
Also, I hope that the web site does not continue to trade given that this would surely be in breach of the conditions of discharge. That would just be plain foolish.


Update
The site has changed again. Harris is now pleading the following:

The MHRA (Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Authority) raided me and took Triamazon for testing back in February 2008.
My solicitor has exhausted every avenue in an attempt to get the results of the MHRA testing on Triamazon, even though I have a right under the freedom of information act, they will not hand over the test results also the MHRA have not issued any health concerns regarding Triamazon 8 months after the raid.

The complaints which were made were about me breaking the cancer act NOT about Triamazon as a product. I have customers who are going to call you to speak with you about how good Triamazon is.

I have been turned into a criminal for blowing the whistle and for helping people.

Speak to Keith Dyson Solicitor or better still speak with LOUISE BLACKWELL QC of Cobden House Chambers Manchester, she is working on this case as the cancer act 1939 violates the articles 9, 10 and 14 of the human rights act.

She will confirm that Triamazon is a viable therapy for cancer,

If my pills are worthless as stated then why am I not in jail for committing deception!

The Manchester Evening News reports an interview with Harris


“I would like to see the drug made be available to all cancer patients and discrimination against alternative medicine ended. I have been branded a charlatan for no reason. The case has ruined my life.



24 comments for “Triamazon Man Convicted

  1. teekblog
    September 11, 2008 at 7:18 am

    extraordinary – how on Earth that sentence is adequate is beyond me, at the very least giving back the money he made from desperate, gullible people would be a start.

    as for sending continuing to advertise his ‘services,’ is there any way you could report him to the authority that convicted him, to alert them of this possible breach of the conditions…? might be worth following up…!

  2. Norbury
    September 11, 2008 at 8:54 am

    I’m not sure that the sentence could have been much harsher – don’t know what sort of sentences are normally handed out to conmen though. I would like to see the ‘proceeds of crime’ act used to seize any assets he can’t account for from other income though, then donated to a cancer charity.

  3. Le Canard Noir
    September 11, 2008 at 9:47 am

    norbury said “I’m not sure that the sentence could have been much harsher”.

    Well, a conditional discharge is exactly what it says. It is a discharge free from punishment on condition that you do not do anything bad again within a certain timeframe.

    The court obviously sees the most important thing is to stop Harris from trading his cancer ‘cures’ rather than punish him for trading off desperation. Time will tell if this is effective. By the statement on the website, it looks as if Harris sees this as a breach of his human rights, not a reprimand for his actions. I am not sure the public are best protected by this course.

    The use of the Cancer Act is interesting too. The new Trading Standards laws were not in place when this started. Would Trading Standards use a different tack were similar cases to be brought to them? Would they be easier, more effective?

  4. Mojo
    September 11, 2008 at 10:47 am

    The maximum sentence for a first offence under the Cancer Act is a fine (level 3 – currently £1,000, I think). Imprisonment (for a maximum of 3 months, and/or another level 3 fine) is only available for subsequent convictions.

  5. HolfordWatch
    September 11, 2008 at 11:42 am

    I would hope that this constitutes a breach of his discharge conditions. Maybe Jack of Kent knows although criminal law is not his area.

    Interesting point about whether the new Trading Standards laws would allow a more comprehensive prosecution – such as now, with the websites continuing to operate.

  6. Norbury
    September 11, 2008 at 11:58 am
  7. Mojo
    September 11, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I have my doubts about his human rights claim.

    Article 9 is “freedom of thought, conscience and religion”; however, it also states that the freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs can be limited for a number of reasons, including the protection of public health. Article 10 is “freedom of expression”, which again “since it carries with it duties and responsibilities” can be limited for protection of health (among other reasons).

    Article 14 is prohibition of discrimination. Who exactly does the law discriminate against?

  8. gimpyblog
    September 11, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    The court obviously sees the most important thing is to stop Harris from trading his cancer ‘cures’ rather than punish him for trading off desperation.

    LCN, the law cannot make moral judgments. You, me and the judge might regard the actions of Harris as being morally indefensible but the law cares not. Also the law cannot tell a man what to think, that Harris is unrepentant is between him and his conscience.
    For a first offense, with no harm directly caused by the product the sentence seems fair enough.

  9. Le Canard Noir
    September 11, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I am not so sure that ‘no harm has been done’. First of all, how would anyone know? Buying real or fake drugs off some bloke from the internet is unlikely to carry the follow through required to assess if harm was done.

    Secondly, the Cancer Act was introduced to stop the dying from being fleeced by charlatans. That is preventing a direct harm – the seriously ill and their families could be better using their money than handing it over for quack cures. The only person who profits is the seller.

    I’m not sure what to make of Harris. He gives the impression that he is driven by a real passion . His ‘scientific’ references, given on his site, would suggest he is either trying to bamboozle or is seriously out of his depth.

  10. gimpyblog
    September 11, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    First of all, how would anyone know?

    Exactly. How can a court of law take into account something that is not recorded?

    I’m sorry LCN, but I disagree with your desire for a stricter sentence. What you seem to be doing is letting emotion rule your head. I know Harris was a major cunt to you but he did not knowingly con anybody and there is no evidence of harm to another person as a result of his actions. He is guilty of breaking the Cancer Act and he has been punished for that. Nothing else.

    Besides I am sympathetic to claims that the Cancer Act is outdated legislation. What privileges cancer over AIDS, schizophrenia, malaria, diabetes, ADHD, autism, Crohn’s disease, eczema, or indeed any other illness for which there is a quack therapy?
    Like it or not the Cancer Act is unfair and should be got rid of or all quackery should be forbidden from making medical claims.

  11. Le Canard Noir
    September 11, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Gimpy – I am not sure I understand your position. Firstly, of course it is possible to make something illegal that is likely to cause harm even if you cannot demonstrate that actual harm has taken place. Without wanting to debate the rights and wrongs of drug laws, surely this is why drug trafficking is illegal – the believe that it will cause harm?

    Secondly, I think that fleecing money from the very ill is harm enough. There is no need to show that someone avoided chemo as a result of taking soem quack pills. Taking large sums of money off the sick with promises of false hopes is something that society quite rightly should condemn.

    And yes, the Cancer Act is a bit bizarre. As I say, I would hope that the new Trading Standards law would be more appropriate, broader and make the act effectively obsolete. But I can understand why an authority might want to prosecute under it – tighter and with precedent. Who knows how judges will interpret the Trading Standard laws in these circumstances?

    And I am not looking for Harris to be banged up. No, I just remark that a discharge (no punishment) appears somewhat lenient. His costs of £350 were less than one course of his herbal pills. When the rewards of a crime far outstrip the costs of being caught, one has to worry about the effectiveness of the law.

  12. Le Canard Noir
    September 11, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    This report is most revealing,

    http://www.messengernewspapers.co.uk/news/3662156.Fine_for_man_who_peddled_cancer__cure_/

    Harris, who admitted he had been on benefits all his life, added: “The most important thing was to tell people about the drug and give them access to it – and to make a few quid. I didn’t make much money, though.”

    Summing up, Judge Devas said: “I accept Michael Harris has a genuine belief about the effects of Triamazon. I also accept commercial gain was not his sole aim in this venture, but it certainly played a part.

    “I would not want you to think that this is anything but a serious matter. And I must counsel you that any further breaks of the law would allow the court may impose a prison sentence.”

    The report also says that Harris is ill again. I genuinely hope he gets better, and hope that he takes heed of what the judge said.

  13. Anonymous
    September 11, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    You owe him a hug. Awwwww.
    Maybe this is the root of all the woo-practitioner’s problems – deep down, they just want to be loved.

    Brainduck.

  14. gimpyblog
    September 12, 2008 at 9:48 am

    LCN, firstly the Cancer Act makes no mention of harm, it simply prevents advertising, so any prosecution under the Act cannot take harm into account. Whatever the motivations of passing the Cancer Act, the possibility of harm does not feature in the legislation as written.

    Secondly, there is no evidence of harm done, as I said previously. You may speculate that patients might have refused effective medical treatments after Harris’ advertising but speculation without evidence cannot be used in a prosecution.

    Thirdly, fleecing money from the terminally ill is most probably illegal. But Harris was not prosecuted for this. It can have no bearing on his sentence.

  15. Le Canard Noir
    September 12, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Surely, it is implicit in the very existence of such laws that harm can be done? Advertising per se is not illegal or a harmful activity. Nor is the act of trading. But when trading or advertising can potentially lead to harm then such activities can be criminalised?

    Selling electrically faulty washing machines in itself does no harm. The fact that it is irresponsible and could lead to death means that laws exist to stop you doing such things

  16. Le Canard Noir
    September 12, 2008 at 10:40 am

    And don’t judges have the discretion to take into account the nature, severity and implications of the crime when sentencing?

  17. Mojo
    September 12, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    @gimpyblog: “Firstly the Cancer Act makes no mention of harm, it simply prevents advertising, so any prosecution under the Act cannot take harm into account. Whatever the motivations of passing the Cancer Act, the possibility of harm does not feature in the legislation as written.”

    However, judges, when interpreting how an act should be applied, use something called the “mischief rule”: they consider what “mischief” (or harm) the act was intended to prevent.

  18. Anonymous
    September 12, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    3 people contacted the Manchester Evening News and gave evidence that Triamazon got them into full remision, see this from pubmed…
    The acetogenins of Annonaceae are known by their potent cytotoxic activity. In fact, they are promising candidates as a new future generation of antitumoral drugs to fight against the current chemiotherapic resistant tumors. The main target enzyme of these compounds is complex I (NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase) of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, a key enzymatic complex of energy metabolism. In an attempt to characterize the relevant structural factor of the acetogenins that determines the inhibitory potency against this enzyme, we have prepared a series of bis-tetrahydrofuranic acetogenins with different functional groups along the alkyl chain. They comprise several oxo, hydroxylimino, mesylated, triazido, and acetylated derivatives from the head series compounds rolliniastatin-1, guanacone, and squamocin. Our results suggest a double binding point of acetogenins to the enzyme involving the alpha,alpha’-dihydroxylated tetrahydrofuranic system as well as the alkyl chain that links the terminal alpha, beta-unsaturated-gamma-methyl-gamma-lactone. The former mimics and competes with the ubiquinone substrate. The latter modulates the inhibitory potency following a complex outline in which multiple structural factors probably contribute to an appropriate conformation of the compound to penetrate inside complex I.

    PMID: 11123988 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  19. Mojo
    September 13, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Do you have any studies that show it can be used to successfully treat cancer?

  20. Le Canard Noir
    September 13, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Hi anonymous, or should I say, Andrew.

    Please give it up. Ask yourself a simple question, “What evidence could you imagine that would convince you that Triamazon is not a cure for cancer?” Can you answer that honestly?

    You appear to be taking the flimsiest evidence for the pills as proof that they work. For every cancer cure, there are a thousand ‘promising’ chemicals that are studied in test tubes. The above paper says nothing about the ability to treat patients. If you do not understand this then you are not competent to be giving advice. If you do understand this then you are a fraud.

  21. Anonymous
    May 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    LCN your ignorance is beyond belief.

    Which drug company did you say you worked for??

  22. August 9, 2012 at 2:41 am

    I have recently started a site, the information you provide on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work.

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