West Hull man's life ruined by Parkinson's Disease drugs
A PARKINSON'S sufferer from Hull has told how medication turned him from a respectable IT manager into a gambling addict who spent thousands on a luxury lifestyle.
Peter Shepherd became hooked on all-night television game shows and visiting casinos.
The former town councillor says the side effects of the drugs saw him addicted to living a luxury existence, splashing out £400,000 on items including cars and holidays.
He bought seven high value cars and went on exotic trips and cruises on his own.
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He spent £150,000 hiring Bentleys, Porches and Ferraris and even used three helicopters for excursions.
The 59-year-old, of Princes Avenue, west Hull, also became addicted to cross-dressing and wore size 12 stilettos.
He had been prescribed the drug Cabergoline for Parkinson's Disease and claims he suffered the obsessive and violent side effects – including pouring a pot of hot stew over his partner – as a result of the medication.
The devastating impact on his life came to light after police arrested him for a £45,000 Take That ticket scam which was helping to fund his lifestyle.
Mr Shepherd said: "It has been a nightmare. I only confessed to my wife days before the police knocked on the door. She has put up with so much from me.
"I was mortified when I came off the drugs and I realised I had let down hundreds of people and my wife. I was horrified to learn of my behaviour."
Mr Shepherd and his wife Deborah, 43, have pleaded guilty at Hull Crown Court to transferring criminal property.
Six counts of fraud were also admitted by Mr Shepherd, who claims his offending was a result of the medication.
Over 11 months in 2007 he defrauded 172 people making £45,700 from the ticket scam and spending the money to fund his luxury lifestyle.
He used an Internet auction website account belonging to his wife and had the money placed in her bank account. She was unaware of the situation until days before the police arrested her. She initially claimed she had committed the fraud to protect him.
His barrister James Sampson said Mr Shepherd was "duly and sincerely remorseful" for the fraud.
He said: "He developed the disease in 2000 and for seven years he was prescribed a drug called Cabergoline. As the years developed there were serious side effects."
Recorder Henry Prosser sentenced Mr Shepherd to a conditional discharge for two years and his wife to a 12 month community order and supervision, ordering her to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work.
See today's Mail for a full interview with Mr Shepherd and details about how his life was ruined.