Nurse Gets Life Sentence for Killing Patients

LEEDS, U.K. – Staff nurse Colin Norris, 32, was sentenced Mar. 4 to a life in jail after administering lethal doses of insulin to patients who were receiving treatments for hip injuries.

The incidents occurred within a six month period in 2002 while Norris worked at the Leeds General Infirmary and the city’s St. James’ Hospital.

Norris, who is described by police officials as “extremely arrogant,” was convicted on four counts of murder and one of attempted murder. The patients were Doris Ludlam, 80; Bridget Bourke, 88; Irene Crookes, 79; and Ethel Hall, 86.

He was also convicted of attempting to murder Vera Wilby, 90.

Dr. Emma Ward, a diabetes expert, grew suspicious when Hall, who was recovering from hip surgery, went into a coma. After ordering blood tests for the patient, Ward discovered insulin levels about 12 times the normal level. There was no medical reason for Hall to be injected because she was not a diabetic.

West Yorkshire Police investigated the case. The evidence consisted of 7,000 statements from hospital staff, relatives and patients, and more than 3,000 exhibits of complex shift patterns, hospital security and leading medical experts.

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