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Nurse remanded over hospital deaths

A nurse has been remanded in custody as police continue to investigate the deaths of five patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Rebecca Leighton, 27, appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court where she was accused of three counts of criminal damage with intent to endanger life, three counts of being reckless as to whether life was being endangered and a charge of stealing medicine from the hospital in Greater Manchester where she worked.

Detectives arrested her on 20 July as part of their probe into the contamination of saline solutions at Stepping Hill Hospital.

Leighton spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth during the 20-minute hearing.

The maximum sentence for criminal damage intending to endanger life or being reckless as to whether life would be endangered is life imprisonment.

Wearing a white hooded top, grey tracksuit bottoms and pink trainers, Leighton wiped away tears as she first came into the dock before regaining her composure as she glanced across at a group of around 15 family and friends.

She was remanded in custody until 1 August when she will appear at Manchester Crown Court.