Summary:

Paragraphs one and two read:  "A TEENAGER might have battered a man to death as his personality was changed by an anti-depressant drug.

"The 16-year-old youth killed 59-year-old Gary Belben and attempted to kill his wife, Tanya, 43, at their home in Lucas Road, Colchester, a month after being prescribed Prozac
, a court has heard."

Paragraphs four through six read:  "Consultant clinical pharmacologist Andrew Herxheimer told the court that Prozac was one of a group of anti-depressant drugs known as SSRIs, which were capable of causing mental disturbance."

"He said research showed a tiny percentage of patients could develop obsessions."

“'There is a compulsiveness about it. An obsessional idea that will not let the person go as the person is in the grip of that idea. It is a steady vice-like grip of the person’s thoughts and behaviour,' Dr Herxheimer told jurors.


http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/4081613.Colchester__Drugs__may_have_resulted_in_killings_/

Colchester: Drugs 'may have resulted in killings'

11:30am Wednesday 28th January 2009
By Paul Hannah »

A TEENAGER might have battered a man to death as his personality was changed by an anti-depressant drug.

The 16-year-old youth killed 59-year-old Gary Belben and attempted to kill his wife, Tanya, 43, at their home in Lucas Road, Colchester, a month after being prescribed Prozac, a court has heard.

He had been given the medication by a doctor after he complained of feeling depressed and his lawyers have claimed the drug caused a “mental abnormality”.

Consultant clinical pharmacologist Andrew Herxheimer told the court that Prozac was one of a group of anti-depressant drugs known as SSRIs, which were capable of causing mental disturbance.

He said research showed a tiny percentage of patients could develop obsessions.

“There is a compulsiveness about it. An obsessional idea that will not let the person go as the person is in the grip of that idea. It is a steady vice-like grip of the person’s thoughts and behaviour,” Dr Herxheimer told jurors.

The teenager denies charges of murdering Mr Belben and attempting to murder his wife on December 17, 2007.

He has admitted man-slaughter on the grounds he was suffering side-effects from drugs, including Prozac.

l The trial continues