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'Devil' nurse found guilty of murdering, poisoning patients at British hospital

A file picture taken on July 23, 2011 shows a general view of Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, north-west England. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES

LONDON: A British nurse who said he had "a devil" inside him, was found guilty on Monday of murdering two of his patients and poisoning about 20 others during what police called a reign of terror at a hospital in northern England.

Victorino Chua, 49, contaminated healthcare products that were later administered to patients on the acute treatment wards on which he worked at Stepping Hill hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in July 2011.

The insulin caused those affected to suffer hypoglycaemia, or a dangerous drop in blood sugar levels, killing two patients and leaving a third with a serious brain injury.

Chua also altered patients' medical notes to increase their dosage of drugs.

He was caught after a massive police investigation, which took officers to Chua's native Philippines, where they found he had left one hospital after being caught stealing. By studying staff shifts, they concluded that Chua, who is a British citizen, was the only person who could be responsible.

After his arrest, police found a letter in his house in which he wrote: "I'm a nice person but there (is) a devil in me ... I'm evil at the same time angel. The bitter nurse confession."

Police said Chua had shown psychopathic tendencies.

"Hidden in plain sight and using unsuspecting colleagues to carry out his sinister plan, Victorino Chua deliberately poisoned and murdered those who were under his care and those who were at their most vulnerable and most in need of help," said Det. Superintendent Simon Barraclough.

Chua, who was convicted of 33 counts including murder, administering a poison, and causing grievous bodily harm, will be sentenced on Tuesday.

 

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