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Anorak | Free Colin Norris: Can Science Save An Innocent Man?

Free Colin Norris: Can Science Save An Innocent Man?

by | 4th, October 2011

DID Colin Norris murder four women?

Back in 2002, Glasgow-born nurse Norris poisoned five elderly female patients by injecting them with insulin at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s Hospital. One survived. The victims were 79, 80, 86 and 88 years old. The survivor was 90. In 2008, after four-days of juror deliberations, Norris was found guilty by majority 11-1. He was jailed for life.

Newcastle Crown Court Judge Mr Justice Griffith told him:

“You are, I have absolutely no doubt, a thoroughly evil and dangerous man. You are an arrogant and manipulative man with a real dislike of elderly patients. The most telling evidence was that observation of one of your patients, Bridget Tarpey, who said ‘he did not like us old women’.”

Norris was awarded the title Angel Of Death, as media law states.

And then some new leads lit up the case. The matter is now in the hands of the the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Norris has always maintained his innocence. He said:

“Whenever I did nights someone always died”.

He told police that he had been “unlucky” that so many seemed to die on his watch.

No direct evidence linked Norris to any of these patients. A hospital report would later state:

“Colin Norris was a trained nurse who had access to drug cupboard keys and the means to administer lethal injections to elderly and vulnerable patients. There is evidence to suggest that the systems in place at the trust to monitor the supply and administration of drugs at the time of the incidents were not robust enough to identify and prevent malpractice.”

The only fact was that their blood sugar had dropped to dangeroulsy low levels when he was on call. This is called hypoglycaemic. The prosecution said naturally-occurring hypoglycemia was so rare that a cluster of four or five cases can only mean that humanity had intervened. The death had not been natural.

Now Prof Vincent Marks, an expert on insulin poisoning, tells the BBC:

“I was surprised at how very common it is in this particular group of elderly, sick people. In one very detailed survey, of thousands of patients, it was up to 10%. It’s not that rare after all. These patients all had other risk factors which included emaciation, starvation, infection, cardiac failure, renal failure – they were all at very high risk of developing spontaneous hypoglycaemia. Looking at all the evidence, all I can say is I think Colin Norris’s conviction is unsafe.”

Science is not perfect. Who knew? Old people are frail? Again, who knew? Rebecca Leighton might well scoff. Police might review goings on at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

A Dr Adel Ismail adds:

“One additional sample taken a few hours earlier or later than the one, the single one, which is used, would have been immensely helpful, and, it wasn’t done which is very unfortunate. The entire case was built on a foundation which is unsound.”

In 2009, Norris appealed. And lost.

As One Anorak readers outs it: “This one might stand up to science and not media.”

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Colin Norris (right) leaves Newcastle Crown Court with his stepfather Raymond Morrison (left) and his mother June Morrison (second right).



Posted: 4th, October 2011 | In: Reviews Comments (10) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink