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Rebecca Leighton dismissed from Stepping Hill

The nurse who had been accused of tampering with saline solution at Stepping Hill Hospital, where police are investigating three deaths, has been dismissed from her job.

Rebecca Leighton, 27, lost her job following a hearing today concerning allegations she stole drugs.

A spokeswoman for Stockport Foundation Trust declined to comment on the case.

Ms Leighton spent six weeks in custody after being arrested on suspicion of sabotage at the hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Charges against her were dropped on 2 September.

Ms Leighton subsequently complained of her horror at being dubbed a “killer nurse” by newspapers.

A Nursing and Midwifery Council hearing in September heard Ms Leighton admitted stealing tramadol and other druggs from the hospital.

Her lawyer Paul Rooney said there was evidence that the drugs were for personal use.

The NMC issued Ms Leighton with an interim order allowing her to work as a nurse but restricting her practice while it carried out a full investigation into the theft of drugs.

Three of the 17 patients thought by Greater Manchester Police to have been poisoned have died.

Police are continuing to probe the deaths of Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Derek Weaver, 83.