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Nurse in court over hospital death spree; She is remanded in custody.


A 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, 27, was accused of three counts of criminal damage with intent to endanger life and three of criminal damage being reckless as to whether life was being endangered when she appeared at appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court.

She also faced a charge of stealing medicine from Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Family and friends of the accused, including her boyfriend Tim Papworth, were at yesterday's hearing.

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

Derek Weaver, 83, died on Thursday after suffering an episode on July 11 - a day after he was admitted with breathing problems.

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

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

A man in his 40s linked with the probe remains "very poorly".

The alarm was raised when a 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.

South Manchester Coroner John Pollard is now reviewing all deaths at the hospital since July 7.


Support: Boyfriend Papworth In the dock: Van carrying Leighton, far left, arrives at court. Left, two of the dead patients, Derek and Vera
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 24, 2011
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