Video: Young nurse quizzed over saline deaths at hospital
Published 21/07/2011 | 05:00
Detectives were questioning a 27-year-old nurse last night over the deaths of three patients at a hospital.
Rebecca Leighton was arrested on suspicion of murder at her home address in Stockport, Manchester, at 6am yesterday.
The unexplained deaths at Stockport's Stepping Hill Hospital of Tracey Arden (44), George Keep (84) and Arnold Lancaster (71) are being linked to the deliberate contamination of saline solution with insulin.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) confirmed that Ms Leighton had been arrested.
NMC chief executive Professor Dickon Weir-Hugh said: "We have commenced fitness to practise proceedings with a view to suspending her from the register as quickly as possible.
"The NMC is the only organisation with the authority to protect the public by suspending a nurse's registration while they are under investigation.
"As this is now an open fitness to practise investigation, we are unable to provide further comment."
Ms Leighton's flat, above a shop called SK Darts, remained sealed off last night.
Neighbours said they thought Ms Leighton lived there alone but was often seen with a boyfriend or heading to work in her blue scrubs.
Police left the property shortly after 5pm carrying up to six bags of items and a computer.
Jon Claire, owner of the Luggage 4U store on the opposite side of Buxton Road, said: "The darts shop was open this morning when I came in, then I went to the wholesaler and by the time I got back CID had arrived and the shutters were down.
"I saw them leave later with about six black bags and a computer and hard drive. I've never seen the woman who lives in the flat. I think the shop is owned by two brothers."
Other residents spoke of their shock at the hospital deaths.
Jeff Parry (62) said: "Everyone around here knows somebody who works there or has been treated there.
"It's so hard to believe that these deaths could have been deliberate.
"It's shocking; it's shocked everyone."
Petrol station worker Daniel Malone (32) said: "It sends a chill down my spine when I think about how those people died.
"My grandmother was treated at the hospital not long ago and they did a wonderful job and put her on the mend.
"No matter what has caused this, we should not forget that it is a great hospital."