A hospital nurse went on trial today accused of murdering three patients by poisoning them with insulin.
Victorino Chua is said to have injured 18 others by deliberately contaminating their saline drips and ampoules at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.
ITV News correspondent Martin Geissler was in court.
A nurse accused of a string of poisonings at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport would deliberately leave contaminated saline bags in a different ward for other unsuspecting staff to administer to patients.
Hospital chiefs launched an "enormous" investigation after patients' medical notes were tampered with amid a series of mysterious insulin poisonings.
Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said as investigators put the pieces of the puzzle together, the person responsible "became clear" - and the finger was pointed at 49-year-old Victorino Chua, a male nurse from the Philippines who had been working on both affected wards.
At Manchester Crown Court, Mr Wright told the jury that when Chua's shifts took him from one ward to the other, the instances of poisoning moved with him.
He said Chua had the opportunity not just to administer the poison himself, but to leave contaminated bags "ticking away" on the ward for other staff to use unknowingly.
The motive for this, Mr Wright added, was difficult to determine as it was completely random - "a lottery" as to who was treated with a contaminated product and who was not.
Mr Chua, whose trial at Manchester Crown Court opened this morning, denies all thirty six charges. The case is expected to last for four months.
Saline drips and ampules routinely used to treat patients on two wards at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport were deliberately contaminated by a "poisoner" at work during the summer of 2011, a court has been told.
Peter Wright QC, prosecuting 49-year-old nurse Victorino Chua, said the poisoner was contaminating the fluids with insulin with the intention of causing "really serious harm".
A total of 21 patients, he said, had suffered as a result of the poisoner's handiwork. Three died, one suffered a brain injury and the remaining seventeen were spared the worst effects of insulin poisoning thanks to prompt medical intervention.
The jury heard that security was tightened on the wards, and the instances stopped. But in January 2012, someone deliberately altered medical notes of patients on ward A3 of the hospital, altering recommended dosages - so a "30" would become an "80", or a "1" would become a "7".
The trial of Victorino Chua began this morning at Manchester Crown Court.
The 49-year-old nurse faces 36 charges including 3 counts of murder.
Jurors and realtives of the alleged victims watched as a series of other charges relating to the alleged poisoning of patients was read out before the court.
The offences are alleged to have happened at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, in 2011 and 2012.
In a soft voice, the Filipino replied "not guilty" to each charge. His trial is scheduled to last for at least four months.
Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, will not be prosecuted over one of his officers shooting dead an unarmed suspect after the case against him was dropped today at Liverpool Crown Court.
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A plane was forced to make an unscheduled landing at Manchester Airport today after a passenger became "disruptive" and another fell ill on board.
An airport spokeswoman said the Qatar Airways flight from New York to Doha landed safely after it was diverted following a "minor medical emergency".
In a separate incident, a "disruptive" male passenger was removed by police after the Boeing 777 plane landed shortly before 9am, she added.
A man and a woman have been killed in a hit-and-run collision in Manchester.
The 37-year-old woman died at the scene in Hulme, Manchester, while the 45-year-old man died in hospital this morning.
The pair were crossing Princess Road at the junction of Greenheys Lane when they were hit by a blue Vauxhall Corsa at 10.15pm yesterday.
Two men, aged 20 and 59, and two women, aged 19 and 47, have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remain in police custody.
Airport ground handling workers will not go on strike tomorrow as planned.
The strike was called off by Unite union after a new pay offer was made.
Union members working for dnata at Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester had been due to walk out tomorrow, but will be balloted on revised proposals.
Unite is pleased to confirm that strike action has been suspended following a revised offer which better reflects the contribution our members make to the company.
All of this could have been avoided if the company hadn't refused requests to negotiate and go to Acas a number of weeks ago. We will now be putting the details of the revised pay offer to our members over the coming weeks.
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