Trading Standards: cancer cure claims prosecuted

Wed, 23/07/2014

Trading Standards successfully prosecuted 2 men for breaching the Cancer Act 1939 recently .

The first case involved Errol Denton who was behind a London and Dubai based alternative-health company. He claimed he could cure cancer.

At Westminster Magistrates Court on Thursday 20 March 2014, Mr Denton was found guilty of 9 breaches of the Cancer Act 1939. The Cancer Act 1939 prohibits anyone from advertising “an offer to treat any person for cancer or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof”. 

Denton was fined £1,000 for each of the 9 offences – the maximum amount available under the legislation, and was ordered to pay Westminster City Council’s costs of £9,821, a victim surcharge of £100, totalling £18,921.

The second case involved a second Harley Street practitioner, Dr Stephen Ferguson, who also breached the Cancer Act 1939.

Ferguson was found guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates Court on 2 May 2014 of posting advertisements on his website and Youtube advertising treatment at his clinics in East London and Harley Street. Ferguson is not a medical doctor and uses the title “Dr” by virtue of a Phd. 

Ferguson was found guilty of breaches of the Cancer Act and fined a total of £1,750, ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge and £2,500 towards the Council’s costs – a total of £4,370. 

These prosecutions are the first under this legislation in Westminster and are among only a handful in the UK since the Acts inception. The Act is intended to protect vulnerable people tempted to spend money on products which they claimed would cure them.

On 9 June 2014 Trading Standards were given high praise in the House of Commons concerning the aforementioned Cancer Act 1939 cases.

You can read more information on the Trading Standards Team here

Last updated: 10 August 2016