A Roman Catholic deacon and former nurse, Ivo Poppe (C background), is pictured during the jury constitution before the Assize Court of West Flanders province, in Brugge, on January 15, 2018. / AFP / BELGA / KURT DESPLENTER
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A Belgian former nurse and Roman Catholic deacon killed several patients because he was stressed out by personal difficulties including renovations on his house, investigators told his trial Tuesday.Ivo Poppe, 61, who has been dubbed the "Deacon of Death" by Belgian media, confessed on the first day of his trial to killing up to 20 people.Most of the victims were elderly people suffering from physical or psychological ailments at the clinic. Poppe worked there in the 1980s and 1990s but continued to act as a pastoral visitor until 2011 after he was ordained as a deacon.But Poppe told investigators his victims also included his own mother, his step-father and two uncles.Poppe faces life in jail if convicted.
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