UK & World News

  • 29 March 2014, 14:18

Nurse Appears In Court To Face Murder Charges

A nurse has appeared in court accused of the murder of three patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in 2011.

Victorino Chua, 48, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address during a three-minute hearing at Manchester Magistrates' Court.

He was told he faces a total of 34 charges, including the murders of Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Derek Weaver, 83.

They and 18 others were poisoned with deliberately contaminated products at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Chuawas re-arrested and charged following a lengthy investigation by police at the hospital.

Mike McKeown, defending Chua, asked for the defendant to be produced in person rather than appearing by video-link at a bail hearing next week.

A police investigation into the deaths at Stepping Hill was launched after staff noticed "unexplained" low blood sugar levels in patients.

Officers later found a number of saline drips had been tampered with.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Our thoughts continue to be with those people who were deliberately poisoned and their families.

"From day one we made a commitment to those people, as well as the wider community, to thoroughly and robustly investigate what occurred.

"In close to three years we have conducted many painstaking enquiries and engaged with numerous medical experts."

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