A nurse has appeared in court charged with murdering three patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport in 2011.
Victorino Chua, 48, of Churchill Street, Heaton Norris, is accused of murdering patients Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Alfred Derek Weaver, 83.
He is also charged with 31 other offences including attempted poisoning, the BBC reported.
These include one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, 22 counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, seven counts of attempting to administer poison and one count of causing poison to be administered with intent.
On Saturday he confirmed his name, age and address during a three-minute hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and was remanded in custody to appear at Manchester Crown Court tomorrow.
The charges surround the contamination of saline ampoules and bags between 1 June and 15 July 2011 at Stepping Hill, which is run by Stockport Foundation Trust.
Mr Chua, originally from the Philippines, was first arrested in January 2012 and was later released on bail. He was re-arrested on Friday.
“We would like to recognise and thank the staff for showing great professionalism”
Ann Barnes, chief executive of Stockport Foundation Trust, said: “We are very much aware that at the centre of this complex and lengthy police investigation are the patients and their families affected by these events.
“Our thoughts have been with them throughout this time,” she said in a statement issued by the trust.
She added: “We would like to recognise and thank the staff for showing great professionalism throughout the police investigation. We have always had an excellent safety record and are ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country by the Care Quality Commission.”