A nurse has been found guilty of murdering two patients during a reign of terror at the hospital where he worked.
Victorino Chua, aged 49, of no fixed address, deliberately contaminated products that were stored on acute treatment wards at Stepping Hill hospital with insulin and that would then be used by unsuspecting staff members to treat unsuspecting patients.
The insulin would cause them to suffer hypoglycaemia - a drop in blood sugar levels.
The effects of such poisoning vary drastically but can result in death and Chua was found guilty of the murders of Tracy Arden and Alfred Derek Weaver, known to his family as Derek.
He was also found guilty of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm to one patient who suffered a brain injury as a result of being poisoned and for whom Chua falsified his medical records and attempting to intentionally cause grievous bodily harm to 21 other patients.
Due to the ongoing inquiry, Chua changed tact as he sought to poison other patients - again indirectly - in January 2012, by altering patients’ prescriptions.
Of all employees, including permanent, temporary and ‘bank’ staff, detectives established Chua was the only person on shift proximate to three key events. He was present when five patients were poisoned overnight between 10th and 11th July 2011; when contaminated ampoules were found overnight between 11th and 12th July 2011; and when prescription charts were fraudulently altered on 3 January 2012.
During a search of his house following his arrest, detectives recovered an autobiographical letter penned by Chua. In it he wrote, “I’m a nice person but there a devil in me…I’m evil at the same time angel,” and: “So I’m writing this letter in case something happen to me my family can continue my case or can tell somebody to look at it and work out how and angel turn to an evil person. The bitter nurse confession. Got lots to tell but I just take it to my grave.”
Detective Superintendent Simon Barraclough, said:
“On behalf of Greater Manchester Police, I would like to once again extend my sympathies to the families of Tracey Arden, Arnold Lancaster and Derek Weaver as well as all the victims of poisoning and their families.
“I hope they find some modicum of comfort and closure now that the person responsible for these heinous crimes has been caught.
“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.
“Chua has demonstrated clear narcissistic and psychopathic tendencies and such indiscriminate poisoning is testament to that. There can be no doubt that he intended to both murder and injure patients under his care and did not give a second thought as to who would be injured or the devastation this would cause them and their families.”
Following his arrest, a team of detectives also flew to Chua’s native Philippines where they were able to establish Chua had left one hospital after being caught stealing. They also visited the now defunct Galang training college where he claimed to have obtained his medical qualifications. As a result of investigations conducted, serious doubt has been cast relating to the authenticity of them.
As part of the inquiry, officers from GMP’s Major Incident Team reviewed hospital data, including point of care results, medical records and preserved blood samples, reviewed the supply chain of effected products and investigated the shift patterns, backgrounds and working practices of hospital staff.
More than 7,500 actions were generated that included obtaining 3,291 statements and exhibiting 5,394 items. The prosecution file exceeded 30,000 pages and the overall investigation collated the equivalent of more than 500,000 pages of information.