A SALE man who peddled a naturally occurring substance in pill form touting it as a wonder cure for cancer, was given a conditional discharge at Trafford Magistrates Court, Tuesday.

Buxton Crescent’s Andrew Harris, 48, was found guilty of seven breaches of the Cancer Act 1939 - a law invoked before the creation of the NHS to stop charlatans advertising dubious medicines and advice to cancer stricken patients.

District Judge Tim Devas, who also fined Harris £350, warned him any further breaches of the act would most likely lead to a custodial sentence.

Earlier the court had heard Harris - a taker of the drug Triamazon himself following diagnosis of non-Hodkins lymphoma in 2004 - began selling capsules of the ‘drug’ - produced from a tree in the Amazonian rainforest - from a website called ‘thiskillscancer.com, last summer.

He told the court he believed the pills, which he was selling at £500 for a course, had forced his own cancer into remission, although he was now ill again having stopped taking them.

In July 2007, Trafford’s Trading Standards wrote to Mr Harris and again on a number of occasions to make him aware his actions were in contravention of the Cancer Act, and to stop immediately.

Harris, arrested in January after a police raid at his home, told the court he started selling Triamazon after learning of its benefits after extensive research on the Internet. He said although he passionately believed the drug worked pharmaceutical companies were not producing it because they couldn’t patent a natural substance. “I was totally gob-smacked that a drug could be left on a shelf collecting dust because nobody could make any money out of it,” he said. “I thought, ‘well I’m not having this’. Call it a calling from God - but I knew I had to do it (sell it).”

Harris, who admitted he had been on benefits all his life, added: “The most important thing was to tell people about the drug and give them access to it - and to make a few quid. I didn’t make much money, though.”

Summing up, Judge Devas said: “I accept Michael Harris has a genuine belief about the effects of Triamazon. I also accept commercial gain was not his sole aim in this venture, but it certainly played a part.

“I would not want you to think that this is anything but a serious matter. And I must counsel you that any further breaks of the law would allow the court may impose a prison sentence.”