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Thursday, 24 February, 2000, 16:59 GMT
Man convicted of shampoo assault

Dundee Sheriff Court
The trial is at Dundee Sheriff Court


A man has been convicted of assaulting his ex-wife, who suffers from a rare allergy condition, by smearing shampoo on the doorhandle of her home.

After a six-day trial at Dundee Sheriff Court, a jury found Colin Slane guilty. Sentence has been deferred for a month to allow reports on Slane's background to be compiled.

During that time, he is forbidden to go within 100 metres of Heather Brown's home.

Slane, 28, was originally charged endangering her life by smearing a sachet of shampoo on her doorhandle, knowing it could cause a reaction.

Jurors convicted him of assault, but deleted the phrase "to the danger of her life" from the charge.

Court barred

Ms Brown, 33, suffers from a rare allergy condition which means that coming into contact with perfumed products or some foodstuffs can cause a severe rash or even anaphalactic shock.

During her evidence the court was sealed and no-one wearing perfume or having eaten certain foods was allowed in.

Heather Brown Heather Brown: Total allergy sufferer
Mr Slane told the court that on the evening of 21 January, 1999, he had been playing football before going to the pub and drinking about five pints of Guinness.

He said on leaving the pub he headed for Ms Brown's house for "a nosy" having heard that she was going out with an old flame.

When asked why he had used the shampoo, which he had in his sports bag, he said: "It was because I was having difficulty accepting my marriage had broken down and because of the badness of the separation leading up to the divorce.

Anaphylactic shock

Slane, who married Ms Brown in December 1995, said that during the two-and-a-half years they were together, she had used a range of shampoos.

He said he was aware that some of them brought her out in a rash, but he did not think contact could cause a reaction such as anaphylactic shock.

The court was previously told that Ms Brown - who is allergic to a range of products containing perfume compounds and food additives - had suffered around 10 incidents of anaphylactic shock since first developing her condition in 1995.

Anaphylactic shock, which is potentially fatal, results in the body producing compounds known as histamines which give rise to symptoms including swollen throat and face, puffy eyes and drops in blood pressure followed by dizziness and loss of consciousness.

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See also:
22 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Allergy sufferer denies lying
18 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Shampoo 'could have killed me'
18 Feb 00 |  Scotland
Court barred for allergy evidence
22 Jun 99 |  A-B
Anaphylactic shock

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