Sunday 22 September 2019

Beautician who denies unlawfully giving botox-like treatment claims authorities took 'unauthorised confession' from her

Anne Rossi, of Howth Road, Raheny, Dublin pictured at the Four Courts Photo: Collins Courts
Anne Rossi, of Howth Road, Raheny, Dublin pictured at the Four Courts Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A beautician who denies unlawfully administering botox-like treatment to customers has claimed before the High Court a State regulatory authority exceeded its powers and took an "unauthorised confession" from her during a search of her premises.

Anne Rossi, who runs the Anne Rossi Clinic, at Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin, was prosecuted by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) on 18 counts under the Irish Medicines Board Act. The HPRA is the regulatory body for prescription medicines in Ireland.

At her District Court trial last year, Mr Rossi, a former psychiatric nurse, pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The District Judge referred a number of questions of law to the High Court and her trial is on hold pending determination of those matters.

The case opened before Mr Justice Michael McGrath on Thursday.

The High Court is being asked to decide whether the alleged confession should be deemed admissible at her trial.

A further issue relates to a certificate required for analysis for the products.

The prosecution relates to a botox-like product called Dysport which contains the prescription only substance Botulinum Toxin A.  It is used in various treatments but most popular for anti-wrinkle and anti-ageing signs effects.

It is alleged that three women customers of the clinic received injections of the product from Ms Rossi in 2014/15 when there was no doctor or pharmacist present as is required by law.

Conleth Bradley SC, for Ms Rossi, said it was their case that there was a failure by the HPRA inspector, who interviewed her during a search at her clinic on February 19, 2016, to adhere to the statutory regime for prosecutors as required under the Irish Medicines Board (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2006.

Although Ms Rossi was cautioned by the inspector, an unauthorised confession was taken from her because of a failure to advise her of her right to a solicitor, counsel said. The requirement to do so was mandatory under the terms of the 2006 Act.

The HPRA disputes the claim. 

The case continues.

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