Former councillor: ‘Smoking herbs destroyed my brain’
ECCENTRIC ex-Logan councillor Hajnal Ban - famous for her leg bone-breaking surgery to extend her height - claims to be suffering the effects of smoking synthetic herbs.
Chris McDermott, a friend whom Ms Ban has made her temporary enduring power of attorney, this week told the Supreme Court in Brisbane that genetically modified herbs had "destroyed her brain".
"There are a lot of drugs on the market that you can buy that are legal, genetically modified herbs," Mr McDermott, a pensioner, said on behalf of Ms Ban, who was not at court.
"Some of them have completely destroyed her brain. It's going to take her about three to four months to recover."
Mr McDermott told the court Ms Ban was in no state to attend court before the Public Trustee obtained an order that she pay it more than $25,000 by the end of February.
A psychiatrist said in a medical report filed by Ms Ban that she had told of using synthetic herbs over four years until 2016 and how she had been hearing voices since 2013.
The doctor said Ms Ban said she would hear critical, derogatory voices in her head, saying "you are a disgrace, you are an embarrassment, a criminal, a prostitute, we hate you".
The doctor said Ms Ban never told anyone for fear of the stigma of negative judgments, but she attributed the onset of the voices to the herbs.
A naturopath said in a court document Ms Ban had anxiety and stress from hearing voices, which were associated with smoking synthetic herbs.
The naturopath said chemicals used in the production of synthetic herbs could affect the neurotransmitters in the brain.
"I am … seeking treatment which I believe will result in a turnaround of my health," Ms Ban said in a court affidavit.
Ms Ban still owes 10 lots of court costs, totalling $283,114, which she was ordered to pay after various court battles, the Supreme Court heard.
On Thursday, Ms Ban was ordered to pay the Public Trustee $25,661, which it says she owes for upkeep of a property she was bequeathed in a will.
The PT, which is administering the will of the late Russell Tacon, a former barrister and mentor of Ms Ban, intends to sell the property if she does not pay by February 28.
In 2011, Ms Ban was convicted of four charges, with one later quashed on appeal, and fined, with the convictions ending her council career.
They included failure to declare a joint bank account with Mr Tacon to Logan City Council.
Ms Ban married fellow Logan councillor Sean Black in 2010, before 200 guests, including Clive Palmer, with Barnaby Joyce as MC.
The marriage ended in 2012. In July, Black was jailed for the rape and assault of a woman in 2007.
In 2002, Ms Ban had surgery in Russia to lengthen her legs by 8cm and later authored a book, God Made Me Small, Surgery Made Me Tall, under a pseudonym.