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Rebecca Leighton is planning to sue the police for up to £100,000

A nurse who was arrested and then later freed over the poisoning deaths of hospital patients is to sue police.

Rebecca Leighton, 29, spent six weeks in custody after being charged in July 2011 in an investigation into the deliberation contamination of saline bags with insulin at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Ms Leighton was cleared of wrongdoing in September of that year when prosecutors said there was not enough evidence against her to pursue allegations of causing criminal damage intending to endanger life or being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

She is now suing Greater Manchester Police for up to £100,000 after officers allegedly gave the public access to her private Facebook account and leaked her name to the media, The Times reported.

The newspaper says that in a High Court writ the nurse claims she handed over her Facebook account password to an officer so that it could be closed for privacy reasons but it was later reactivated so it could be seen by all internet users and could not be accessed by her.

Ms Leighton said the publicity of her arrest led to her being detained in custody for her own safety and also affected her future job opportunities.

She was subsequently sacked by the hospital after she admitted stealing painkillers and antibiotics.

She is seeking damages for breach of confidence, misuse of private information, negligence, breach of a statutory duty and her legal costs, it was reported.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: “GMP has received a claim for damages from Rebecca Leighton. This matter is ongoing and as such it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

The force is carrying out a massive investigation into the contamination of various medical products with insulin between June 1 and July 15, 2011 at the hospital. Twenty-two people were poisoned by the contaminated products, eight of whom have died.

Filipino nurse Victorino Chua, 46, was held last year on suspicion of tampering with medical records at Stepping Hill Hospital. He was further arrested on suspicion of three counts of murder and 19 counts of causing grievous bodily harm.

Mr Chua is on police bail pending further inquiries until July.

 

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Quite right too Rebecca. No one minds the NMC (eventually) hanging nurses out to dry when they make a mistake so its quite right to expect the same of the Police.

    Some might question whether or not she should be allowed to continue as a Nurse; well step forward one and all who have never either done the same, or not reported someone you knew who did - you may cast the first stone.

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  • Rebbeca has not been convicted of any harm to patients whatsoever. So why should she not work as a nurse again??

    As commented on earlier, step forward any nurse that hasn't taken a paracetamol or ibuprofen for a head ache/period pain/toothche. I can probably show you a liar.

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  • She will never get a job in a hospital again because mud sticks so i don't blame her for suing the police. They should have made sure they had enough evidence before they publicly ruined her professional reputation. And then there is the stress and emotional turmoil she and her family must have gone through.

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  • anon 1.40 - depends what the 'mistake' is, the employers and the NMC do not treat all nurses the same.

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