Stepping Hill nurse Rebecca Leighton refused bail

Rebecca Leighton
Image caption Rebecca Leighton is accused of tampering with medical products

A nurse charged with contaminating saline at a Stockport hospital has been refused bail for her own protection.

Rebecca Leighton, 27, of Buxton Road, Heaviley, was arrested by police investigating the deaths of several patients at Stepping Hill Hospital.

She faces seven charges including criminal damage with intent to endanger life and theft of medicines.

The nurse, who is on remand at Styal Prison, did not appear at Manchester Crown Court for the bail hearing.

In court on Friday, Mr Justice Henriques ruled that Miss Leighton should be kept in custody for her own protection.

Further details of the hearing cannot be reported for legal reasons.

Alleged tampering

She is next due to appear in court on 17 October to enter her plea and a provisional trial date has been set for next February.

Miss Leighton is accused of three counts of criminal damage with intent to endanger life and three of being reckless as to whether life was being endangered, as well as the theft of medicines charge.

The charges relate to the alleged tampering of saline ampoules, saline bags and medical products.

Greater Manchester Police were initially investigating the deaths of five patients at the centre of the hospital.

Last week, the family of George Keep was told his death no longer formed part of the inquiry.

Mr Keep, 84, of Cheadle, died on July 14 after being admitted to the hospital with a broken hip.

Police continue to probe the suspicious deaths last month of Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, Derek Weaver, 83, and Vera Pearson, 84.

The alarm was raised when a higher than normal number of patients were reported to have "unexplained" low blood sugar levels.

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