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Bride-to-Be Jenna Wilson-Vickers Who Died In Sunbed Shop Used Banned Tanning Jabs, Inquest Hears

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A bride-to-be died in a sunbed shop after injecting herself with banned tanning jabs, an inquest has heard.

Jenna Wilson-Vickers, 26, had apparently been taking the injections for weeks before being found unconscious in the cubicle of the Tantastic sunbed shop in her home town of Bolton, Lancashire, last September.

Miss Wilson-Vickers had also been using sunbeds to excess, up to three or four times a week, the hearing at Bolton Coroner's Court heard.

tanning injections death

Jenna is believed to have bought a £30 Melanotan II kit on the internet

She had bought the substance online and was injecting it into her stomach and had taken a jab the night before she died on 3 September last year.

Police investigating her death later recovered vials of Melanotan 2, a banned product which should not be sold or supplied under UK law.

Weeks before, she had tweeted: "Getting a lovely tan now ... And I've had no side effects :) Very happy Bunny."

On Wednesday her mother, Shirley Mather, told the 11-strong jury at the inquest that her daughter was a bright and bubbly person and generally happy but she had struggled with her weight.

She had dieted occasionally and put weight on in the period before her death, when she weighed around 25 stones.

Jenna was fair skinned but "really keen" to get a tan, the inquest heard.

Mrs Mather said in the previous three months before her death she would take her to the tanning shop around twice a week and her daughter also told her of the injections.

"About two weeks before, she just said she has not got any pigment in her skin, that's why I'm taking these injections so I went brown on the sunbeds," Mrs Mather said.

On the morning of her death Mrs Mather took her daughter to a chemist to get a sharps box, for used needles, then on to Tantastic at around 9.30pm, where Mrs Mather waited outside in the car.

At that time her daughter seemed "very bubbly" but when she did not return after around 15 minutes, as usual, Mrs Mather called her mobile but there was no answer.

"I then had a feeling something was not right so I went into the shop."

Inside Lisa Rourke, the shop manager, was already on the phone to emergency services after finding Miss Vickers-Wilson collapsed on the floor, half in the stand-up tanning cabinet inside the cubicle.

"I'm shouting 'Come on Jenna, wake up! Wake up!' I just could not get her round at all."

Paramedics tried in vain to resuscitate her but Miss Wilson-Vickers was declared dead at the scene.

Ms Rourke was then asked about assessments made by the shop of how suitable customers were for using the sunbeds.

She said customers were asked if they had used sunbeds before and when, and questioned about their skin tone.

Ms Rourke said customers are recommended to start off by using the sunbeds for the minimum amount of three minutes before, "building up" the length of time.

There is also a medical history declaration form to sign but Ms Rourke said she would never ask a customer about their size or weight in relation to sunbed use.

Posters in the shop also warned not to use the sunbeds more than once in 24 hours and recommended 20 sessions per year.

Ms Rourke said she had seen Miss Vickers-Wilson coming to the shop three or four times a week.

And when records were checked, the day she died was her third 12-minute tanning session over the previous three successive days.

Ms Rourke said she noticed Miss Wilson-Vickers was still in the cubicle around 10 minutes after the 12-minute session had ended so turned the radio down and listened at the cubicle door but could hear no noise and went to investigate.

"As I opened the door she sort of fell out towards me," Ms Rourke told the hearing.

Her body was limp, skin mottled and "clammy" and Ms Rourke called 999.

Miss Wilson-Vickers's fiance Brian Watson said she had been taking the tanning injections "regularly".

"She had bought a couple of bottles, vials, I think it's a couple of months they last, every two to three days injections."

The bottles were kept in the fridge and the night before she died Miss Wilson-Vickers, as was her routine, injected herself in the stomach with the tanning solution at around 10pm as she went to bed.

Graham Olive, a health and safety inspector for Bolton Council, said he had checked the 48-tube stand-up tanning cabinet and found it was in good working order with no faults.

He said customers buying multiple sessions at Tantastic were given a card asking about skin type and recording their exposure to sunbeds.

But Miss Wilson-Vickers bought her sessions individually so did not have the same card and there were no records kept at the shop showing her being asked about her use or medication she was taking.

Mr Olive said she may have been asked about this verbally but it was not recorded.

Dwayne Rutty, a forensic analyst with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, said after Miss Wilson-Vickers's death he had been asked to analyse two substances recovered during the police investigation into the matter, one in solid and one in liquid form, and both were found to be Melanotan 2.

"It is thought to have tanning qualities, we have seen it before, the agencies are quite aware of people using it for tanning," he said.

The inquest heard Melanotan 1 and 2 were both classified by the agency as unlicensed medicinal products and are banned in the UK from being sold or supplied.

The hearing continues. Comments are closed for legal reasons