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HomeMedico-LegalUK killer nurse's case sent back to Court of Appeal

UK killer nurse's case sent back to Court of Appeal

New evidence could lead to the freeing of a nurse known as the “angel of death” who was convicted of killing four patients. According to a report in The Guardian, key parts of the prosecution case that led to the conviction of Colin Norris in 2008 for the murders and for the attempted murder of a fifth patient have been brought into question by the expert evidence.

Norris has served more than a decade in prison, having been sentenced to spend a minimum of 30 years behind bars. The official body that examines alleged miscarriages of justice announced last week it had sent Norris’ case back to the UK Court of Appeal. It has concluded there is a possibility the court will quash all of Norris’ convictions.

The Guardian reports that Norris was found guilty in 2008 by a majority verdict, meaning at least one juror was not convinced. The trial in Newcastle upon Tyne lasted five months and relied heavily on controversial, circumstantial, expert evidence.

He was found to have injected insulin into his five alleged victims, who were all inpatients on orthopaedic wards in Leeds. Four died from hypoglycaemia, where blood sugar drops dangerously low, while the fifth survived.

The prosecution said hypoglycaemia was “vanishingly” rare and it produced experts to testify to that effect.

The report says Norris’ attempts to clear his name have so far been rebuffed. His case was investigated by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which decided it may be unsafe.

Prosecutors alleged Norris disliked elderly patients and thus deliberately injected the women with insulin.

[link url="https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/feb/12/colin-norris-serial-killer-nurse-conviction-court-of-appeal"]Full report in The Guardian (Open access)[/link]

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