The Herald

Nurse murdered four elderly patients

- ALISON CAMPSIE

A SCOTS nurse will be sentenced today after being convicted of murdering four frail patients by giving them overdoses of the diabetes drug insulin.

Colin Norris, 32, from Egilsay Terrace, Glasgow, who once said he disliked caring for “geriatric patients”, killed the elderly women and tried to murder another while he worked at two Leeds hospitals in 2002.

Last night relatives of Norris’s victims welcomed the verdicts of the jury who sat through more than four months of evidence at Newcastle Crown Court.

In a joint statement, they said: “We are pleased with today’s verdict, which brings to an end a lengthy investigat­ion which has been like a black cloud hanging over us for five long years.

“Our relatives ... went into hospital to receive treatment and recover. However, due to the actions of this man, a person from whom they should have received care and been able to trust, they passed away.

“He cut shor t their lives and their precious time with their children, grandchild­ren and, in some cases, greatgrand­children.”

The trial, which started in mid-October, heard suspicions were raised when Norris predicted the death of one woman, who slipped into a fatal hypoglycae­mic coma later in his shift.

Outside court, Detective Chief Superinten­dent Chris Gregg described Norris as “extremely arrogant”, and without remorse for killing Doris Ludlam, 80, Bridget Bourke, 88, Irene Crookes, 79, and Ethel Hall, 86, while he worked at the Leeds General Infirmary and the city’s St James’s Hospital. He was also convicted of attempting to murder Vera Wilby, 90.

He said Norris would have continued his killing spree but for a hospital doctor’s vigilance.

Dr Emma Ward, a colleague, grew suspicious after one of the women fell seriously ill while under Norris’s care, and she alerted the authoritie­s who eventually discovered the nurse had already killed three times and tried to murder another.

Norris showed no emotion as he was convicted.

During their investigat­ion, West Yorkshire Police took 7000 statements from hospital staff, relatives and patients. And more than 3000 exhibits were seized.

Norris will find out how long he must serve behind bars before he can apply for parole at a hearing today.

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