A mother-of-two acted as a “foot soldier” for her body-building mentor when she illegally imported €27,000 worth of anabolic steroids, a court has heard.
Lynne Fitzmaurice (38), from Corbally Green, Westbrook Lawns, Tallaght, Dublin pleaded guilty to five charges under the Irish Medicines Board Act for unlawfully importing steroids which required a doctor's prescription.
She was fined €7,000 and ordered to pay €3,500 in prosecution expenses, by Judge John Brennan at Dublin District Court. He described it as "a substantial business" and he was also told the steroids carried serious health risks if wrongly used.
She was prosecuted following an investigation by the Health Product Regulatory Authority (HPRA), the State’s medicines watchdog agency.
HPRA enforcement officer Brenda Kirby told the court that on February 23rd last year, customs officers detained a large package sent from Romania and addressed to Fitzmaurice's home. The package, which was passed on to the HPRA, was found to contain 452 boxes with 4,000 vials. They were anabolic steroids worth €27,000, Ms Kirby said.
A warrant was obtained to search her home where some unauthorised medicinal products were found.
Ms Kirby said that Fitzmaurice claimed they were for personal use; she was interviewed and made “certain admissions”. She was again interviewed on a later date with a solicitor present and made admissions about importing the steroids.
Ms Kirby said they were prescription-only products.
In relation to their possible health risks, prosecution solicitor Ronan O’Neill told the court they can lead to heart disease or strokes if misused.
Defence counsel Stephen Montgomery told the court his client was previously employed in retail and telesales but is now working full time in the home. The barrister said the married mother-of-two had been involved in body-building and was "more of a foot soldier in this matter".
There was a “controlling mind” who was a mentor to her and had previously trained her in body-building, counsel said. However, she no longer has contact with the trainer, who was not named during the proceedings.