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Prison for trader who sold Viagra on Internet.

A businessman who illegally sold Viagra on the Internet after placing adverts for the sex drug in adult magazines was yesterday jailed for 12 months.

Mark Groombridge, (41), generated sales of pounds 630,000 by selling tablets of the drug for pounds 15 each, Stafford Crown Court was told.

Recorder John Maxwell said a custodial sentence was necessary to deter others from flouting the laws governing the distribution of prescription-only medicines.

The judge, who was told Viagra could pose a danger to those with heart conditions, a history of strokes, liver disease or kidney complaints, banned the defendant from operating as a company director for seven years.

Describing medical questionnaires which Groombridge's customers were required to fill in as a sham, the judge told him: 'It's obvious to me that you knew perfectly well that a prescription was necessary.

'You have deliberately flouted the law and you have made substantial profits from this.' Groombridge, who was also made the subject of a pounds 258,000 confiscation order, had admitted five charges under the Medicines Act at an earlier hearing.

The court heard that the married trader had founded the ebusiness, Menscare UK Ltd, in September 1999 and placed adverts in various magazines offering Viagra for sale.

After his arrest, Groombridge, of Balance Street, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, falsely claimed that completed medical questionnaires had been sent to a doctor in the US, who then provided prescriptions.

Richard Kimblin, prosecuting, told the hearing that Viagra worth pounds 100,000 was seized by officers from the Medicines Control Agency when Groombridge was 'busted' in September 2000.

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Mark Groombridge
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 13, 2002
Words:266
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