Bradford

Nurse's accidental death before murder trial

Anne Grigg-Booth
Image caption Ms Grigg-Booth died after accidentally overdosing on anti-depressants

A senior nurse accused of murdering three women at a West Yorkshire hospital lost her life after descending into alcoholism and depression.

Anne Grigg-Booth, from Nelson, Lancashire, died at home on 29 August 2005 whilst on bail and awaiting trial at Bradford Crown Court. She was 52.

The night nurse practitioner at Airedale General Hospital near Keighley, had been charged with murdering June Driver, 67, in 2000, Eva Blackburn, 75, in 2001, and 96-year-old Annie Midgley in 2002.

She was also accused of trying to kill 42-year-old Michael Parker in June 2002.

However an independent inquiry found that a combination of individual and systemic failure were to blame for what happened.

'No Harold Shipman'

The mother-of-one had become addicted to alcohol, which eventually cost her her life.

A pathologist's report into her death showed that damage to her liver caused by alcohol abuse led her to overdose on relatively low amounts of anti-depressants.

Blood samples revealed Ms Grigg-Booth had taken seven to eight times the "therapeutic amount" of Mirtazepine. Fatal doses of the drug are generally thought to be around 27 times a normal dose.

At a hearing into her death in 2005 Ms Grigg-Booth's solicitor, Paul Fitzpatrick, said his client had been well-liked and a "caring and responsible senior nurse".

He read out a letter from defence expert Dr John Grenville who wrote to the solicitor after Ms Grigg-Booth's death.

"I am able to say that it is my firm opinion that the circumstances surrounding Mrs Grigg-Booth were entirely different to those surrounding the late Harold Shipman at whose trial I gave expert testimony," the letter said.

"Her death has robbed her of the opportunity of presenting that defence and of silencing her critics," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

The mother-of one's relationship with her husband broke down when bailiffs came to repossess their home after she racked up large debts which he was unaware of.

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