By Quddous Ahmed
Man faces life in jail for killing two patients and harming others by contaminating treatments with insulin.
A nurse with a “malign intention to cause havoc” has been convicted of murdering and poisoning hospital patients.
Victorino Chua, 49, injected insulin into saline bags and ampoules while working on two wards at Stepping Hill hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in June and July 2011.
These were then unwittingly used by other nurses on the ward, leading to a series of insulin overdoses.
After police were called in Chua allegedly “changed tack” by sabotaging prescription charts, doubling and trebling dosages – some with potentially lethal consequences – which led to his arrest in January 2012.
The Filipino father of two gave little reaction as he was found guilty at Manchester crown court of murdering Tracy Arden, 44, and Alfred Weaver, 83, who was known to his family as Derek.
(Left to right) Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Alfred Derek Weaver, 83. Photograph: Greater Manchester police/PA
Arden, who had multiple sclerosis, was admitted for a “mild” chest infection and would have been expected to “sail through this storm”. But she was pronounced dead eight hours after admission and being treated with a saline ampoule contaminated with insulin.
Weaver was admitted with a chest infection and after being given a saline drip, he “appeared to be in agony, eyes rolling back in his head”. He died 10 days later.
Chua was also found guilty of 22 counts of attempted grievous bodily harm, one count of grievous bodily harm, seven attempts of administering poison and one count of administering poison. He will be sentenced on Tuesday.
Zubia Aslam, who survived her saline drip being contaminated, said: “Life has not been the same and never will be. This has turned my life upside down, but also that of my family and I still have questions about how this was allowed to happen in the first place. What measures have been taken to date and will be taken going forward to ensure that this never happens again?”
Prosecutors told the jury Chua had taken out his personal frustrations on patients “for reasons truly known only to himself” but drew attention to a self-penned letter found at Chua’s home after his arrest described as “the bitter nurse confession” by Chua, he said he was “an angel turned into an evil person” and “there’s a devil in me”. He also wrote of having things he would “take to the grave”.
The Holy Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) said, “No one will be allowed to move from his position on the Day of Judgement until he has been asked how he spent his life, how he used his knowledge, how he earned and spent his money and in what pursuits he used his health.”
Examples of Chua serve as a stark reminder for Muslims and others around the world who work in the healthcare sector to work with integrity in all that they do.
May God enable us all to do so.
Sources: The Guardian Online, The Times Online, Sky News, Tirmidhi