Friday 24 March 2017

'Evil Angel' nurse to be sentenced today over murder of patients

Guilty Victorino Chua
Guilty Victorino Chua

Killer nurse Victorino Chua is facing life in jail when he is sentenced today for poisoning and murdering patients.

Filipino Chua, 49, described as a narcissistic psychopath by detectives, was convicted of murdering two patients and poisoning 19 others with insulin by a jury at Manchester Crown Court yesterday following a three month trial.

His victims' loved ones will be in court as Chua is sentenced to a minimum of two mandatory life sentences for the murders.

The father of two injected insulin into saline bags and ampoules while working on two acute wards at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, in June and July 2011.

These were then unwittingly used by other nurses on the ward - leading to a series of insulin overdoses to mainly elderly victims.

Chaos and panic followed in his wake as patients suffered sudden illness that left hospital staff in turmoil and police on the brink of closing the hospital for the sake of patient safety.

Tracey Arden, 44 and Alfred Weaver, 83, suffered agonising deaths and a third, Grant Misell, 41, was left brain damaged as the insulin overdoses starved the victims' brains of oxygen.

Chua was cleared of murdering Arnold Lancaster, 71, but found guilty of attempting to cause him grievous bodily harm.

In all, Chua was convicted of two murders, 22 counts of attempted grievous bodily harm, one count of grievous bodily harm, seven attempts of administering poison and one count of administering poison.

Among the evidence produced by the prosecution was a self-penned letter found at Chua's home in Stockport after his arrest in January 2012 for changing proscription charts so patients would get dangerously wrong amounts of drugs.

In the letter, described as "the bitter nurse confession" by Chua, he said he was "an angel turned into an evil person" and "there's a devil in me". He also wrote of having things he would "take to the grave".

He will be sentenced by trial judge, Mr Justice Openshaw.

Meanwhile, it has emerged the investigation team found inconsistencies in Chua's medical qualifications, which they raised with the Department of Health and the Home Office, as well as contacting the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Nazir Afzal, who led the Crown Prosecution Service in north-west England from 2011 until earlier this year, told BBC North West Tonight the findings raised the "extremely worrying" prospect other untrained migrants could be working in UK hospitals.

He said: "In all my 24 years as a prosecutor, I have never escalated concerns to another government department except in this case.

"I do not know whether there were hundreds or thousands or dozens. What I do know is the opportunities were there for them to lie about their qualifications, to obtain them fraudulently, and to cover up their disciplinary matters.

"The concerns related to the robustness or otherwise of the qualification and training regime that they had in the Philippines at that time.

"The concerns were that there were significant opportunities for fraud at that time. People were able to take exams on behalf of other people using their identity. That some people, when they had been disciplined, that their disciplinary record was expunged in some way. And that the authorities over here at that time were not looking into their background in the Philippines and were accepting their qualifications at face value."

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