Stepping Hill Hospital Nurse Remanded Over Poison Death Probe

Nurse Remanded In Poison Death Probe

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- A 27-year-old nurse charged in connection with the deaths of five hospital patients at the centre of a tampering probe has been remanded in custody.

Rebecca Leighton appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court where she was accused of three counts of criminal damage with intent to endanger life and three counts of criminal damage being reckless as to whether life was being endangered. She also faced a charge of stealing medicine from Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Leighton was arrested at her flat on Wednesday by detectives probing the contamination of saline solution at Stepping Hill, where she worked.

Derek Weaver, 83, from Stockport, died on Thursday after suffering a hypoglycaemic episode on July 11 - a day after he was admitted from his care home with breathing problems.

Multiple sclerosis sufferer Tracey Arden, 44. of Heaviley, died on July 7, and retired photographer Arnold Lancaster, 71, of Romiley, died on July 11.

George Keep, 84, of Cheadle, died on July 14 after being admitted to the hospital with a broken hip, while on the same day 84-year-old Vera Pearson also died.

A man in his 40s linked with the investigation remains "very poorly" in a critical care unit at Stepping Hill.

The alarm was raised at the hospital last week when a higher than normal number of patients were reported to have "unexplained" low blood sugar levels.

Police found a batch of saline solution contaminated with insulin in a storeroom close to wards A1 and A3.

Leighton was remanded in custody until August 1 when she will next appear at Manchester Crown Court.


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