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One4b hearing underway

Published: 6:29PM Monday October 15, 2001

A Dunedin father has told the Timaru court how he pleaded with the importer of the chemical One4b to take the product off the market after his son overdosed on it.

The father gave evidence at a depositions hearing, where importer James McNee is facing charges under the Food Act, including selling a food that is injurious or harmful to health.

McNee is out on bail and denying the charges brought by the Ministry of Health.

Four months ago, police raided McNee's' Timaru home and confiscated over 150 bottles of products containing 1,4 butanediol, also known as One4b.

The bottles were labelled as a compact disc and tape cleaner solution, but in court on Monday the product was linked to the overdose of a Dunedin man who the prosecution said had consumed the chemical.

His father, whose name was suppressed, told the court how he found his son unconscious in his bed with a partly used bottle of "alphaware' head cleaning solution on his bedside table.

The father says the next day, with his son out of danger, he contacted McNee to express his anger and plead with him to stop selling the products.

The father told the court the "alphaware" website listed the cleaning solution alongside herbal products, and he says collectively they were promoted as 'legal highs".

The depositions hearing is expected to last several more days, and while McNee remains on bail, he has been issued with strict instructions not to discuss the case with anyone, in particular the Crown's 32 witnesses.

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