Manchester

Stepping Hill Hospital deaths: Nurse still questioned

Rebecca Leighton
Image caption Rebecca Leighton was arrested at her home in Stockport

Detectives are continuing to question a nurse on suspicion of murder over five deaths at a hospital in Stockport.

Three men and two women, aged between 44 and 84, have all died at Stepping Hill Hospital in the past month.

Police believe their deaths are linked to the contamination of saline. Insulin was injected to 36 containers of the solution.

Officers have until 21:05 BST to hold 27-year-old Rebecca Leighton, of Heaviley in Stockport.

They could then re-apply to a magistrate for further time to question her.

She was arrested at her flat in Buxton Road early on Wednesday morning.

The police investigation initially centred on the deaths of three patients - Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and 84-year-old George Keep.

On Thursday, police confirmed it had widened to include two further deaths.

Image caption Derek Weaver died on Thursday morning

Derek Weaver, 83, died on Thursday morning and a woman, 84, died on 14 July.

Mr Weaver was described by his family as "a lovely gentleman".

A 41-year-old man remained critically ill in hospital.

Police are also looking at the treatment of eight other patients since 7 July.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Hopkins has said it was likely Greater Manchester Police would be asked to investigate further deaths.

He would not rule out making further arrests.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has said proceedings are under way to suspend Ms Leighton's nursing registration while she is under investigation.

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