Canadian ‘poison seller’ Kenneth Law faces more charges

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Kenneth Law faces charges relating to 14 deaths in Canada but police believe there may be many more victims
By Angus Crawford
BBC News

Police in Canada have brought an additional 12 charges against a man accused of supplying a poisonous chemical to people who died by suicide.

Kenneth Law, 57, from Toronto had already been charged in May this year with two counts of counselling or aiding suicide in Canada.

Police think Mr Law may have sent more than 1,200 parcels containing lethal substances to around 40 countries.

British detectives say 88 people in the UK who bought from Mr Law later died.

The latest charges, which are also for counselling or aiding suicide, relate to deaths in the Canadian province of Ontario. The dead range in age from 16 to 36.

Eleven police agencies in Ontario are now involved in what Inspector Simon James of York Regional Police said was a “very active and very complex” investigation.

Detectives were “sharing information with law enforcement on a global scale”, he said, adding: “We will not tolerate criminal actions by those who prey on vulnerable people in our communities.”

Canadian detectives said Mr Law had run a number of websites offering equipment and substances to help people end their lives.

The charges come days after the National Crime Agency (NCA) in London said Mr Law was known to have sent packages to 272 people in the UK.

British police said that 88 of those recipients later died, although they could not confirm that a toxic substance was the direct cause of each death.

On Friday NCA deputy director Craig Turner said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of those who have died. They are being supported by specially trained officers from police forces.”

The agency said it was conducting an investigation into “potential criminal offences committed in the UK”.

Tom Parfett, from Maidenhead, was 22 when he ended his own life in October 2021 after buying the chemical from Mr Law.

His father David Parfett told BBC News last week that he was angry at the failures of police to stop the trade in dangerous substances.

“It’s important for families to understand what has happened and why policing worldwide allowed this scale of deaths despite clear warning signs,” he said.

Mr Parfett said he feared there were other suppliers out there and unregulated websites promoting suicide.

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