Valium imported to treat flesh eating bug

A Devon man was sentenced to seven days in prison for importing 1,000 valium tablets from Cambodia claiming he needed to treat pain from a flesh eating bug.

Jonathan Bowskill, 43, was arrested in Exeter with the pills in his rucksack.

Officers described his eyes as being like "pin pricks" and his speech was said to be slurred.

At Exeter Crown Court Bowskill was jailed for seven days but freed after spending four months in custody.

'Unpleasant illness'

Bowskill, who was living in Tiverton and Bournemouth at the time, admitted possession of diazepam, which is also known as valium.

The court heard he suffered from pain after a bout of necrotising fascitis, a condition which releases toxins which destroy flesh and muscle tissue.

Bowskill was cleared of the offence of possession with intent to supply on the instructions of Judge Erik Salomonsen.

"You bought the tablets because your own doctor had refused to prescribe what is in effect an addictive class C drug," the judge said.

"You knew you were committing an offence but the time you have served is more than this sentence."

Bowskill said he paid up to £400 for the drugs over the internet for his own use.

Mr Gareth Evans, defending, said: "He suffers from this very unpleasant illness which causes him great pain and debilitation.

"He was taking four or five pills a day. He was using valium to medicate himself."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites