Insulin poisoning: Murder detectives release male nurse on bail
A male nurse has been questioned over the murder of three patients in the hospital insulin poisoning inquiry.
Victorino Chua, 46, was originally held over claims that medical forms were altered and a female patient – who has recovered – was given extra medication at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.
But in a dramatic move over the weekend, Chua was arrested in connection with the murder of three patients – Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Derek Weaver, 83.
Held: Victorino Chua was arrested in connection with the murder of three patients at Stepping Hill Hospital
He was also arrested on suspicion of
18 counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent at the hospital,
where police believe saline drips were contaminated with insulin.
Former Daily Mail journalist Bill
Dickson, 82, who died on New Year's Eve, also suffered a dangerous fall
in blood-sugar levels while on a ward at the hospital.
He is being treated as a GBH case because he was identified as a victim before his death.
Friends of Philippines-born Chua, who
was released on bail by police late last night, rallied round the
married father of two. They insisted that he was devoted to his family
and his patients.
One friend, who has known Chua since he arrived in
Britain eight years ago, said: 'His job as a nurse is to save lives.
He's not a killer.
'Never in my life would I have thought it. I still don't think he has done anything like that.
Victims: Alfred Weaver
'He's a good man and a good nurse. He's always been honest, hard-working and professional.
'I know his character. He would never do harm to anyone. He's an average, normal person. He is not a killer, not at all.'
Sixteen other patients are believed to have been poisoned at Stepping Hill Hospital
The friend said staff at the hospital –
which has around 60 Filipino workers – had been sobbing in anguish and
frustration, refusing to believe he could be responsible. She said:
'They have been crying because they want so much to support him and his
'We pray for him and hope he will be cleared and survives all this. I hope he is released, bless him.'
Chua was arrested last Thursday on
suspicion of tampering with medical records, leading to extra medication
being given to a patient. She recovered but staff noticed her notes had
On Saturday night he was arrested on suspicion of three murders and 18 offences of causing GBH.
Chua is understood to have worked at
Stepping Hill for nearly three years after being employed at the nearby
Newlands Nursing Home in Heaton Moor.
He worked on the acute care A3 women's
ward and has also been stationed on ward A1. Both wards were under
police investigation over the deaths of Mrs Arden, Mr Lancaster and Mr
Weaver between June 1 and July 15 last year.
The case against Rebecca Leighton was dropped after she was investigated over the deaths of three patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport
Police stood guard outside Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport in July 2011, shortly after the alarm was raised
Another nurse, Rebecca Leighton, 27,
spent six weeks in custody accused of the poisonings before being
released because of lack of evidence.
Chua's former shop assistant wife
Marianne, 37, and their two daughters, aged about six and 13, are
believed to have moved from their 100,000 terrace home while he was