British record-holder Laura Hague destroyed evidence at her gym when bodybuilder Sean Cleathero died after he used a pesticide to lose weight
A champion powerlifter Laura Hague, helped cover up the death of a young bodybuilder after he died using pesticide to lose weight has been jailed for two years.
Laura Hague, 23, who holds the British record in two weight classes, destroyed evidence at the Apollo Gym in High Wycombe, Bucks, following the death of 28 year-old Sean Cleathero.
Mr Cleathero took a luminous yellow cocktail containing a massive dose of fat-burning drug DNP which is normally used as an industrial pesticide.
He died eight hours later after suffering a heart attack and kidney failure.
Hague, who was involved in selling steroids at the gym, was convicted of perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to supply steroids following a trial at the Old Bailey.
Gym owner Jamie Chivers, 44, was cleared of manslaughter following an Old Bailey retrial but was convicted alongside Hague of attempting the to cover up the death.
Chivers was jailed for five years after admitting perverting the course of justice and producing and supplying steroids.
The court heard Chivers had been dealing in steroids for years and is also a power lifter.
He was on bail for a separate steroids dealing case when Mr Cleathero died.
Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Cooke said the behaviour of both Chivers and Hague was ‘wicked.’
‘Laura Hague is much younger than Jamie Chivers, and I accept that she was influenced by him in covering up Mr Cleathero’s death,’ the judge said.
‘The text messages sent between the two do indicate, however, the extent to which was willing to help her partner.
‘I was relatively unimpressed by the letter she has written, and there is little show that she understands the impact that her actions have had.’
The judge added: ‘Both these defendants were involved in the wholesale destruction of evidence.’
The court heard Hague won her weight class in powerlifting at the European Championships and was a contender for the World Championships in Las Vegas.
She lived with her mother and taught gymnastics as well as working at the gym.
DNP is legal to possess and supply, but the adverse effects on humans have been known for more than a decade.
‘As little as a gram of this taken at once may result in death’, prosecutor John Price told jurors.
‘Quite simply, to supply it at all for human consumption was wrong because it was dangerous.’
Leeds University student Sarah Houston died after taking DNP she had ordered online while battling an eating disorder.
Sarmad Allardin, an 18-year-old university student known as ‘Mr Muscles’, died last year just hours after praising DNP on Facebook.
Mr Cleathero, a father-of-one was desperate to get ‘ripped’ muscle definition and was caught on CCTV taking the drugs at the gym on October 16, 2012.
His grandmother Janice found him collapsed in the lounge at home just hours later, struggling to breath due to the effects of the drug.
The court heard Chivers and Hague cleared out the Precision Labs premises at the gym where the drugs were stored so it was completely empty when police came to search it.
Chivers also wiped the CCTV footage of him delivering the drugs to the gym, but was caught on camera tampering with the camera system.
The court heard Chivers was jailed for two years for dealing in steroids before he came to court for the Cleathero case.
He is a former steroids addict himself and suffers serious kidney problems – but claims his illness has nothing to do with his drug use.
Hague, of Orchard Grove, Chalfont St Peter, Bucks, was convicted of conspiracy to supply class C drugs and perverting the course of justice.
She was sentenced to two years for perverting the course of justice, and a concurrent three-month sentence for conspiracy to supply the drugs
Chivers, of Spring Gardens Road, High Wycombe, Bucks, denied manslaughted, but was sentenced to five years for perverting the course of justice and a concurrent sentence of five years for conspiracy to supply class C drugs.