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Coroner to investigate 10 deaths and revisit 3 more

South Manchester's lead coroner is to open inquests into 10 further deaths of inpatients from the time killer nurse Victorino Chua was working at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

John Pollard will also consider resuming inquests into the deaths of three others - Alfred Weaver, Tracey Ardern and Arnold Lancaster - which had formed part of the criminal indictment against Chua.

There is no immediate evidence to suggest that these deaths were caused by insulin poisoning, but in most cases there is reason to believe that whilst the deceased persons were in hospital they each suffered hypoglycaemic episode/s.

– John Pollard

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Investigations into 11 more deaths at Stepping Hill

Victorino Chua was jailed for 35 years Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Eleven more deaths at Stepping Hill Hospital are to be investigated following the conviction of killer nurse Victorino Chua.

South Manchester coroner John Pollard is set to publicly examine the deaths of 11 people - none of whom have been named.

In a statement, Stockport NHS Trust said the coroner had been unable to undertake inquests into these deaths at the time of the police investigation and trial.

"The 11 deaths that the coroner is now investigating are therefore relating to patients who were inpatients at the hospital over this period."

Killer nurse Chua speaks out and insists he's innocent

Chua Credit: Greater Manchester Police.

Stepping Hill poisoner Victorino Chua has claimed he's innocent and labelled the evidence against him 'circumstantial'.

In a statement released by his solicitors today, Chua, who was jailed yesterday for 35 years for murdering two patients and poisoning many others, said: "I will never cease my efforts to prove my innocence."

He also made an appeal for witnesses to come forward and "help find the true perpetrator".

Chua jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years

The nurse Victorino Chua has been given 25 life sentences for murdering two patients and poisoning 20 others at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

The judge at Manchester Crown Court described Chua as dangerous and devious as he told him he'll serve a minimum of 35 years in prison.

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Nurse described as dangerous and devious jailed for life

Chua

A nurse described as dangerous and devious has been jailed for life for killing and poisoning patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Victorino Chua will have to serve a minimum of 35 years behind bars.

He injected insulin into saline bags when he worked on the wards four years ago.

Yesterday he was found guilty of murdering two of his patients and poisoning 19 more.

Elaine Willcox reports:-

Police Statement following Chua Sentencing

“We are pleased with today’s sentence and I believe it reflects the seriousness of what Chua has done, and can hopefully go some way to providing a resolution for the victims and the families of those that he has so painfully harmed.

On behalf of Greater Manchester Police, I would like to once again extend my sympathies to the families of Tracey Arden and Derek Weaver as well as all the victims of poisoning and their families.

“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.

“He would then watch the fruits of his labour unfold, as absolute chaos ensued across the wards as colleagues fought to save patients whilst attempting to comprehend what was happening.

“Chua has demonstrated clear narcissistic and psychopathic tendencies and such indiscriminate poisoning is testament to that. He clearly had no regard for his patients and did not give a second thought as to who would be injured or the devastation this would cause them and their families.

“There can be no doubt that he intended to both murder and injure patients under his care; despite him knowing what effect this poisoning was causing, he continued with no regard for his victims.

“It is so far from keeping with the ethos of those employed at the hospital or as health professionals generally that it is incredulous to believe someone in that vocation to be capable of such malevolence.

“From the outset we committed significant resources to this investigation with a view to bringing the offender to justice and I have to say that the cooperation we have received from Stepping Hill from the very beginning has been wholehearted: they have remained as resolute and determined as we to unmask the perpetrator, from the first day to the last.

“I would also like to thank those from the CPS who have been embedded with us while the investigation was progressing for their insight and assistance and whose excellent prosecution has resulted in this conviction as well as the many experts across Europe, without whose help we would not be where we are today.

“This has been without question the most complex police investigation I have undertaken in more than 15 years as a senior police detective, and I do not have the words to adequately convey my admiration for every member of my team for their fortitude and commitment to this case.

“Each and every one of them has had to develop a substantial understanding of acute care medicine and hospital procedures in order to get us to where we are today and I greatly understate that achievement when I say that is no mean feat.”

– Detective Superintendent Simon Barraclough
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Killer nurse: Victorino Chua failed to show any remorse

Victorino Chua failed to show any remorse for murdering and poisoning patients at Stepping Hill Hospital, police say.

Victorino Chua murdered two patients and poisoned 19 others.

Chua, 49, was jailed for at least 35 years, meaning he will not be considered for parole until he is in his mid 80s.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Superintendent Simon Barraclough said: "He's consistently failed to show any form of emotion during this process and any form of remorse for what he's done.

"And in fact even through the lengthy process of sentencing this morning, there was not a flicker of emotion on his face apart from what appeared to be a general contempt for all the proceedings on going."

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Killer nurse 'will never be able to harm anyone again'

The brother of a woman who died after being poisoned by Victorino Chua says a minimum 35-year jail term will ensure the nurse "will never be able to harm anyone again".

Gary Arden's sister Tracey, 44, died after Chua injected insulin into saline bags and ampoules at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, in 2011.

Today marks the end of a really difficult four-year period for all the families but in particular my parents and Tracey's daughters.

The sentence that's been handed out by the judge today reflects, whilst it won't bring any of the victims, Tracey back, or rectify what's been done by Victorino Chua, I think it recognises the gravity of the offences and will make sure he will never be able to harm anyone again in the future.

– Gary Arden
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