A 71-year-old pharmacist from the Flemish town of Lennik was sentenced to 12 months in prison for fatally poisoning a 40-year-old woman with weed-killer, the Brussels Criminal Court ruled on Thursday.
After reading that magnesium sulphate treated gallstones, two women from the municipality of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw in the Flemish Brabant travelled to a pharmacy in Lennik to buy a kilo of the drug, but the unnamed 71-year-old-pharmacists sold them weedkiller as opposed to magnesium sulphate, reports Belgian media.
The day after consuming the substance, the two women felt so unwell that they went to the hospital where they both fell into comas. One of them died while the other woman survived but had to remain in the hospital for over a month in order to recover.
An investigation into the death showed that the woman had suffered from sodium chlorate poisoning. Upon searching the woman’s home the police discovered a bag, filled with weedkiller, which was labelled by a pharmacist as being magnesium sulphate.
The prosecutor held the accused pharmacist responsible for the victim’s death and requested an 18-month sentence. The defence, however, argued that neither the sale nor the cause of death was sufficiently proven.
The court eventually ruled that the pharmacist would serve 12 months in prison.
The Brussels Times