UK - Healthcare worker arrested on suspicion of murder/attempted murder of a number of babies, 2018

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ZaZara

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In a case such as LL, even if it was a medical impossibility that her actions could have resulted in the death of a child she could still potentially be found guilty of attempted murder, if the evidence shows beyond all reasonable doubt that she was both unaware of this impossibility and that her intent was to kill.

Thank you for taking the time to explain this. The line of reasoning is very clear, up to the point when I try to apply this to LL's case. She is being accused of several murders, and a number of attempted murders.

In case of baby X, the charges were changed from murder (lethal drug or method) to attempted murder (medical impossibility and a natural death). So on the onset, the death of baby X must have appeared as a murder at a certain moment, and then for some reason this was changed to attempted murder, medical impossibility, but still an intent to kill.

I am getting confused here, because IMO it appears as if we are looking at a perpetrator with a MO that is at times lethal and at other times medically impossible. I wonder what this could be. o_O

To stick to your example: in some cases LL would have used class A drugs, and in others baking powder. I don't see how this could happen in a ward in a hospital where medications and other materials are labelled and LL was a trained nurse. If LL wanted to kill, she had no reason to replace medications with baking powder (or talcum powder) and if someone else (person Y) put baking powder in medicine bottles, or switched whatever medication, this does not prove intent of LL. On the contrary, she would be a victim too of person Y.
 

Whitehall 1212

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Thank you for taking the time to explain this. The line of reasoning is very clear, up to the point when I try to apply this to LL's case. She is being accused of several murders, and a number of attempted murders.

In case of baby X, the charges were changed from murder (lethal drug or method) to attempted murder (medical impossibility and a natural death). So on the onset, the death of baby X must have appeared as a murder at a certain moment, and then for some reason this was changed to attempted murder, medical impossibility, but still an intent to kill.

I am getting confused here, because IMO it appears as if we are looking at a perpetrator with a MO that is at times lethal and at other times medically impossible. I wonder what this could be. o_O

To stick to your example: in some cases LL would have used class A drugs, and in others baking powder. I don't see how this could happen in a ward in a hospital where medications and other materials are labelled and LL was a trained nurse. If LL wanted to kill, she had no reason to replace medications with baking powder (or talcum powder) and if someone else (person Y) put baking powder in medicine bottles, or switched whatever medication, this does not prove intent of LL. On the contrary, she would be a victim too of person Y.
I think you are jumping ahead and may have misunderstood my content. None of us are aware of the evidence so guessing the detail of the case is probably not very helpful......many of our assumptions are invariably incorrect.

My intention was two-fold:

1. To explain that in the law of England and Wales (Scotland and Northern Ireland have variation) a Criminal Attempt can still result in a conviction even if the ultimate offence is impossible to commit. I used the drugs example as a means to explain how this could work practically, NOT to imply in any way that LL acted in such a way, which we are not yet privy to.

2. To provide an opinion that LL may have allegedly used a means to harm the child, from which the child may have not succumbed, but that the Crown allege it was with intent to kill. This child subsequently died is what we do know. It may be that further evidence has now been obtained that has ruled out that the child died as a consequence of LL's alleged actions. The alleged actions and death could be close together timewise or maybe days/weeks apart, we may never know.

Your last point as to the possibility that medication or equipment could have been tampered with by someone else or even that it was unknowingly contaminated or defective would likely have been police lines of enquiry during the course of the investigation. No doubt the police will have ruled all these other possibilities out, if it was necessary to do so, depending on the actual nature of the allegations. However, these very possibilities could feature in the case for the defence. We will have to wait and see.

Of course this is just my opinion
 
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Marantz4250b

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2. To provide an opinion that LL may have allegedly used a means to harm the child, from which the child may have not succumbed, but that the Crown allege it was with intent to kill. This child subsequently died is what we do know. It may be that further evidence has now been obtained that has ruled out that the child died as a consequence of LL's alleged actions. The alleged actions and death could be close together timewise or maybe days/weeks apart, we may never know.

Thanks for some excellent posts, Whitehall.

We actually do know. The child who was the focus of the Murder with the attempted murder charge in the alternative was the one who died at circa three days old in a different hospital near Liverpool. I forget the name of the place.

From what I recall reading, the child was very ill and was moved because the CoC did not have the specialist care available that she needed. It seems likely, then, that she was moved very soon after being born - within hours.

Given those circumstances it seems barely comprehensible that LL (or anyone) would have the opportunity to attempt to murder a child who, realistically, must have been under very close observation without being noticed and for evidence of same not to come to light for at least a year afterward until the police started investigating.

I'm struggling to come up with any plausible method she could have employed to carry out these murders and attempts given what is obviously a very tight timeline. I suppose they might be alleging that she had tampered with medication or equipment and may not even have been present when the actual harm was caused?
 

Whitehall 1212

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Thanks for
Thanks for some excellent posts, Whitehall.

We actually do know. The child who was the focus of the Murder with the attempted murder charge in the alternative was the one who died at circa three days old in a different hospital near Liverpool. I forget the name of the place.

From what I recall reading, the child was very ill and was moved because the CoC did not have the specialist care available that she needed. It seems likely, then, that she was moved very soon after being born - within hours.

Given those circumstances it seems barely comprehensible that LL (or anyone) would have the opportunity to attempt to murder a child who, realistically, must have been under very close observation without being noticed and for evidence of same not to come to light for at least a year afterward until the police started investigating.

I'm struggling to come up with any plausible method she could have employed to carry out these murders and attempts given what is obviously a very tight timeline. I suppose they might be alleging that she had tampered with medication or equipment and may not even have been present when the actual harm was caused?
Thanks @Marantz4250b for your informative reply. I now recall reading about the baby that was transferred to a Liverpool hospital with a Neo-Natal ICU (level 3) but tragically also died.

I have no doubt that the police and CPS have been utterly professional in their respective tasks, in what is an exceptionally complex case.

Having investigated criminal offences relating to clinical procedures it was always necessary to have expert input from a experienced nonconflicted senior clinician. However, clinicians and detectives can think very differently....trust nothing, question everything is the detective mantra.....yet detectives rarely have the expansive clinical knowledge to readily identify other lines of clinical enquiry or clarify/challenge what they are told.

Challenging a Consultant can often result in a curt response!

Coupled with the concerning reviews regarding the neo-natal unit provision at CoC Hospital then my expectation would be that that the evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable. Anything less and suspect there may be significant repercussions.

Whatever happens, the ultimate tragedy is that so many lives have been torn apart. The families need answers to help process their grief and move forward.
 

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Thanks for some excellent posts, Whitehall.

We actually do know. The child who was the focus of the Murder with the attempted murder charge in the alternative was the one who died at circa three days old in a different hospital near Liverpool. I forget the name of the place.

From what I recall reading, the child was very ill and was moved because the CoC did not have the specialist care available that she needed. It seems likely, then, that she was moved very soon after being born - within hours.

Given those circumstances it seems barely comprehensible that LL (or anyone) would have the opportunity to attempt to murder a child who, realistically, must have been under very close observation without being noticed and for evidence of same not to come to light for at least a year afterward until the police started investigating.

I'm struggling to come up with any plausible method she could have employed to carry out these murders and attempts given what is obviously a very tight timeline. I suppose they might be alleging that she had tampered with medication or equipment and may not even have been present when the actual harm was caused?
I cant remember..not sure if you can ?

At what point was she moved to the other hospital?
Was it possible she for example spent 2 days in the general hospital but was moved due to a deterioration after the attempted murder took place?
 

Whitehall 1212

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I cant remember..not sure if you can ?

At what point was she moved to the other hospital?
Was it possible she for example spent 2 days in the general hospital but was moved due to a deterioration after the attempted murder took place?
Here is the court report from the Chester Standard detailing LL's initial appearance at the Mags Court, after being charged by police and kept in police custody prior to her initial court appearance.


The victim was Maddie Freed (RIP). The attempt charged was dated 17th Feb 2016 with the substantive offence of murder on 20th Feb 2016. So as I understand it, this is the murder charge that has been withdrawn.

This MSM report is definitely worth a read:


These two MSM reports are a good reminder of the issues and statistics surrounding this case:


 

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Here is the court report from the Chester Standard detailing LL's initial appearance at the Mags Court, after being charged by police and kept in police custody prior to her initial court appearance.


The victim was Maddie Freed (RIP). The attempt charged was dated 17th Feb 2016 with the substantive offence of murder on 20th Feb 2016. So as I understand it, this is the murder charge that has been withdrawn.

This MSM report is definitely worth a read:


These two MSM reports are a good reminder of the issues and statistics surrounding this case:


how mad on 16th 17th 18th and 19th feb 2016 the care quality commission had done unannounced visits in the maternity wards, how brazen would that be to attempt to murder a baby while the wards must of been so busy and everything and everyone watched more so
 

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how mad on 16th 17th 18th and 19th feb 2016 the care quality commission had done unannounced visits in the maternity wards, how brazen would that be to attempt to murder a baby while the wards must of been so busy and everything and everyone watched more so
The only possible reason that comes to my mind for that sort of behaviour would be if someone actually wanted to be caught, and it was a "cry for help".
 

Marantz4250b

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The only possible reason that comes to my mind for that sort of behaviour would be if someone actually wanted to be caught, and it was a "cry for help".

I'm not sure. I keep hearing that ohrase in relation to various things but I'm not entirely sure how accurately it describes people's actions. I'm no psychologist though.

The dates coinciding with an inspection are yet another thing that puts this whole thing so far beyond anything I've ever heard about before - much further into the realms of utter bizarreness. I mean, on top of this apparently not being notived by the hospital or any staff members for for years after the alleged events; the police not being asked to investigate for years; her not even being arrested for a year after that; her multiple arrests for days at a time and not being charged for something four years after the alleged offences, it now seems that she's been on a huge killing spree right under the noses of people who were there specifically to check for dangerous practices!!!
 

ZaZara

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I'm not sure. I keep hearing that ohrase in relation to various things but I'm not entirely sure how accurately it describes people's actions. I'm no psychologist though.

The dates coinciding with an inspection are yet another thing that puts this whole thing so far beyond anything I've ever heard about before - much further into the realms of utter bizarreness. I mean, on top of this apparently not being notived by the hospital or any staff members for for years after the alleged events; the police not being asked to investigate for years; her not even being arrested for a year after that; her multiple arrests for days at a time and not being charged for something four years after the alleged offences, it now seems that she's been on a huge killing spree right under the noses of people who were there specifically to check for dangerous practices!!!

Lucia de Berk was convicted of a murder that she committed at a moment while she was not with the patient at all, instead the medical specialist and his assistant were with the patient at that time.

Things happen, you know. Only goes to prove how extremely cunning these nurses are. :rolleyes: But still, very confusing.

Lucia de Berk | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers
 

JosieJo

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I'm not sure. I keep hearing that ohrase in relation to various things but I'm not entirely sure how accurately it describes people's actions. I'm no psychologist though.

The dates coinciding with an inspection are yet another thing that puts this whole thing so far beyond anything I've ever heard about before - much further into the realms of utter bizarreness. I mean, on top of this apparently not being notived by the hospital or any staff members for for years after the alleged events; the police not being asked to investigate for years; her not even being arrested for a year after that; her multiple arrests for days at a time and not being charged for something four years after the alleged offences, it now seems that she's been on a huge killing spree right under the noses of people who were there specifically to check for dangerous practices!!!
I'm not sure if these inspections were CQC which is likely but just to shed some light on it.
I worked in the NHS for 30 plus years and have known approx 4 inspections in the last 10 years. Its not the case that there are inspectors in every ward every shift every day for weeks ..in fact I never met an inspector on any of our visits.
They choose certain areas and only spend probably 4 hours there at any time.
They in fact spend an awful lot of the visit time in interviews with managers discussing policies etc.
It would be extremely easy for any given nurse not to see an inspector especially working nights. They could for example inspect your area on your days off.

To play devil's advocate having inspections due could in some killers add to the thrill of not getting caught
 

Whitehall 1212

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I'm not sure if these inspections were CQC which is likely but just to shed some light on it.
I worked in the NHS for 30 plus years and have known approx 4 inspections in the last 10 years. Its not the case that there are inspectors in every ward every shift every day for weeks ..in fact I never met an inspector on any of our visits.
They choose certain areas and only spend probably 4 hours there at any time.
They in fact spend an awful lot of the visit time in interviews with managers discussing policies etc.
It would be extremely easy for any given nurse not to see an inspector especially working nights. They could for example inspect your area on your days off.

To play devil's advocate having inspections due could in some killers add to the thrill of not getting caught

But of course. Any killer with severe anti-social personality disorder complete with NPD will consider themselves superior to all-comers and see no threat from the inspectors.

Could LL fit that bill? Are we influenced in by her fresh face, warm smile, bright eyes and apparent sense of vocation? I know I am, but something tells me to remember that all that glistens is not gold!
 

Marantz4250b

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But of course. Any killer with severe anti-social personality disorder complete with NPD will consider themselves superior to all-comers and see no threat from the inspectors.

Could LL fit that bill? Are we influenced in by her fresh face, warm smile, bright eyes and apparent sense of vocation? I know I am, but something tells me to remember that all that glistens is not gold!

This may well be true but it kind of goes back to the point I was getting at; if she's actually done all this and her personality is such that it leads her to be as reckless in regards to her own preservation as is suggested then how on earth wasn't she caught? I mean the charges relate to a period of around a year and, let's face it, if she is guilty is it really likely that she suddenly started murdering after being a nurse for some years? That doesn't seem to fit with other medical murderers, as far as I can see. Allitt started murdering almost from day one, as an example.

Obviously, I appreciate that the hospital and the department in question was in a complete mess, standards-wise, but if she's that intent on murdering babies surely someone, somewhere would notice? If I recall the timeline of the charges she faces it would seem that there was a period when she was so busy murdering or attempting to murder she'd have little time to do any actual nursing! Okay, that's obviously an exaggeration but there certainly seems to have been a period where she was murdering or attempting to murder hours old babies on pretty much a daily basis yet no one seems to have noticed anything untoward.
 

Marantz4250b

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Don't know if anyone watched it but there was a very good two part episode of 24 Hours In Police Custody this week. It involved the case of a six year old boy who was murdered close to his home back in 1994. The reason I'm mentioning it is because it relates to the comments which keep coming up, especially on the FB groups, along the lines of ...well, if the police have got enough evidence for the CPS to charge then she's clearly done it.... or words to that effect.

In the case in the TV documentary the mother was arrested and charged and was eventually acquitted. The police had essentially got a case of "tunnel vision" due to her admitting to abusing her kids - by locking them in their rooms for days and washing their mouths out with Fairy Liquid and suchlike as punishments. The "evidence", as it was, included the fact that she had a lot of books on the occult, weird religions and suchlike and it was assumed that she'd done it due to the fact that his body was apparently laid out in some "ritualistic" sort of manner. Similar evidence was used against Lucia De-Burke in Holland in that her diaries mentioned "succumbing to temptation again" (or similar) when what she actually meant was reading Tarot cards to patients rather than murdering them. As it turned out, the prosecution's evidence was just as fantastical and ridiculous as the occult books the accused owned! It was total nonsense.

Tapes of the mothers interviews were played in the documentary and, listening to them, it was blindingly obvious that she hadn't killed the lad. She was absolutely distraught when pleading her innocence with the police interviewers. Yes, I know it's easy to say that in hindsight but I actually hadn't realised that she was acquitted at the point the tapes were played and I hadn't read a synopsis of the programme prior. Arresting someone, interviewing them, interviewing witnesses, gathering physical evidence, referring to the CPS, charging, remanding and having a trial is not a short process. You'd think that someone, somewhere along the line who'd heard those tapes and who had reviewed the evidence would have said ..you really sure we've got the right person 'ere 'guv, cos she's not screaming ritualistic child murderer to me?. Anyone with any degree of empathy and understanding of humans would be seriously questioning someone's guilt in a case like that, especially given the really shonky nature of the evidence.

So, this kind of stuff has happened in the past and keeps happening on a regular basis. I do wonder whether the FB "guilty without a trial" brigade will each apologise if LL is found not guilty?
 

Whitehall 1212

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Don't know if anyone watched it but there was a very good two part episode of 24 Hours In Police Custody this week. It involved the case of a six year old boy who was murdered close to his home back in 1994. The reason I'm mentioning it is because it relates to the comments which keep coming up, especially on the FB groups, along the lines of ...well, if the police have got enough evidence for the CPS to charge then she's clearly done it.... or words to that effect.

In the case in the TV documentary the mother was arrested and charged and was eventually acquitted. The police had essentially got a case of "tunnel vision" due to her admitting to abusing her kids - by locking them in their rooms for days and washing their mouths out with Fairy Liquid and suchlike as punishments. The "evidence", as it was, included the fact that she had a lot of books on the occult, weird religions and suchlike and it was assumed that she'd done it due to the fact that his body was apparently laid out in some "ritualistic" sort of manner. Similar evidence was used against Lucia De-Burke in Holland in that her diaries mentioned "succumbing to temptation again" (or similar) when what she actually meant was reading Tarot cards to patients rather than murdering them. As it turned out, the prosecution's evidence was just as fantastical and ridiculous as the occult books the accused owned! It was total nonsense.

Tapes of the mothers interviews were played in the documentary and, listening to them, it was blindingly obvious that she hadn't killed the lad. She was absolutely distraught when pleading her innocence with the police interviewers. Yes, I know it's easy to say that in hindsight but I actually hadn't realised that she was acquitted at the point the tapes were played and I hadn't read a synopsis of the programme prior. Arresting someone, interviewing them, interviewing witnesses, gathering physical evidence, referring to the CPS, charging, remanding and having a trial is not a short process. You'd think that someone, somewhere along the line who'd heard those tapes and who had reviewed the evidence would have said ..you really sure we've got the right person 'ere 'guv, cos she's not screaming ritualistic child murderer to me?. Anyone with any degree of empathy and understanding of humans would be seriously questioning someone's guilt in a case like that, especially given the really shonky nature of the evidence.

So, this kind of stuff has happened in the past and keeps happening on a regular basis. I do wonder whether the FB "guilty without a trial" brigade will each apologise if LL is found not guilty?
I'd agree that until the turn of the century that wrongful charge and miscarriages of justice based on someone fitting the profile of an offender, were always likely to happen.

If there was motive, means, opportunity together with what would be viewed as interests in satanism, the occult, uncommon sexual practices (not illegal), even interest in true crime and murder :oops:, then I think that one could very easily find themselves in the frame. Colin Stagg in the frame for the Rachel Nickell murder is one such example. Detectives were certain they had the right man and even acted unlawfully to try and prove it!

My view is that certain high profile and very disturbing crimes have brought such a sense of anger and revulsion that historically (pre 2000), the police have become blinkered by the circumstantial evidence and the pressure to catch the offender. Now we have the weight of ever improving DNA techniques and other evidential means to support or refute assertions. Therefore, I believe that wrongful charge/conviction will very much be in the past.
 

Whitehall 1212

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Don't know if anyone watched it but there was a very good two part episode of 24 Hours In Police Custody this week. It involved the case of a six year old boy who was murdered close to his home back in 1994. The reason I'm mentioning it is because it relates to the comments which keep coming up, especially on the FB groups, along the lines of ...well, if the police have got enough evidence for the CPS to charge then she's clearly done it.... or words to that effect.

In the case in the TV documentary the mother was arrested and charged and was eventually acquitted. The police had essentially got a case of "tunnel vision" due to her admitting to abusing her kids - by locking them in their rooms for days and washing their mouths out with Fairy Liquid and suchlike as punishments. The "evidence", as it was, included the fact that she had a lot of books on the occult, weird religions and suchlike and it was assumed that she'd done it due to the fact that his body was apparently laid out in some "ritualistic" sort of manner. Similar evidence was used against Lucia De-Burke in Holland in that her diaries mentioned "succumbing to temptation again" (or similar) when what she actually meant was reading Tarot cards to patients rather than murdering them. As it turned out, the prosecution's evidence was just as fantastical and ridiculous as the occult books the accused owned! It was total nonsense.

Tapes of the mothers interviews were played in the documentary and, listening to them, it was blindingly obvious that she hadn't killed the lad. She was absolutely distraught when pleading her innocence with the police interviewers. Yes, I know it's easy to say that in hindsight but I actually hadn't realised that she was acquitted at the point the tapes were played and I hadn't read a synopsis of the programme prior. Arresting someone, interviewing them, interviewing witnesses, gathering physical evidence, referring to the CPS, charging, remanding and having a trial is not a short process. You'd think that someone, somewhere along the line who'd heard those tapes and who had reviewed the evidence would have said ..you really sure we've got the right person 'ere 'guv, cos she's not screaming ritualistic child murderer to me?. Anyone with any degree of empathy and understanding of humans would be seriously questioning someone's guilt in a case like that, especially given the really shonky nature of the evidence.

So, this kind of stuff has happened in the past and keeps happening on a regular basis. I do wonder whether the FB "guilty without a trial" brigade will each apologise if LL is found not guilty?
There are two considerations I feel:

1. Killers tend to escalate to murder over time. Actions that once fulfilled a need may no longer do so and the need for ultimate power and control may become so great that murder is the consequence. I think there are many reasons why someone may begin or escalate offending patterns. Only by looking into an offenders past can we begin to understand the motive.

2. It is essential to recognise that in the healthcare setting, anyone who has a motive to harm vulnerable patients, will not encounter many of the limitations of the world outside. This chasm is even greater when the patients are receiving critical interventions that rely on accuracy and skill. If a clinician had intent to harm it would be a whole lot easier to cover it up with a degree of experience and autonomy in the workplace.

Alternatively, poor working practices, poor management and staff working beyond their experience/skill level could also lead to an increase in near misses or mortality. What are the odds that incorrect statistical analysis could conveniently confirm a hypothesis that just isn't the case? It's happened before!

As I've said before 'guilt beyond ALL reasonable doubt' is rarely more critical.
 

Marantz4250b

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I'd agree that until the turn of the century that wrongful charge and miscarriages of justice based on someone fitting the profile of an offender, were always likely to happen.

If there was motive, means, opportunity together with what would be viewed as interests in satanism, the occult, uncommon sexual practices (not illegal), even interest in true crime and murder :oops:, then I think that one could very easily find themselves in the frame. Colin Stagg in the frame for the Rachel Nickell murder is one such example. Detectives were certain they had the right man and even acted unlawfully to try and prove it!

My view is that certain high profile and very disturbing crimes have brought such a sense of anger and revulsion that historically (pre 2000), the police have become blinkered by the circumstantial evidence and the pressure to catch the offender. Now we have the weight of ever improving DNA techniques and other evidential means to support or refute assertions. Therefore, I believe that wrongful charge/conviction will very much be in the past.

I hear what you're saying, I do, but I'm afraid that I don't share your confidence. Wrongful arrests and convictions still happen; Rebecca Leighton was only 10 years ago. She was actually charged and remanded until the real murderer came to light. If he'd have nicked off back to wherever he was originally from then RL would almost certainly be inside now and still looking at another couple of decades, at least, of incarceration. The police and CPS certainly assessed the evidence wrongly in her case. Aren't there serious concerns about Colin Norris' case too? I've just read the Wiki entry on him. I'm not convinced he's innocent but it's mentioned in the entry that one of the deaths which was being investigated as a case of murder was apparently changed from suspicious to non-suspicious as soon as it was found that he wasn't on duty. That's not my idea of unbiased investigating and following the evidence, especially in relation to a very serious crime.

Also, I accept what you're saying as regards evidence but, in terms of LL's case, what evidence do we think is likely to be presented? In all likelihood it's going to be highly circumstantial. I think we all know that it's likely to be a mix of her shift patterns, statistical analysis from "experts" as to how likely X number of deaths are in any period of time, what drugs she did or didn't sign for and why, etc. There almost certainly won't be DNA (and what would that prove anyway?), video or eye-witnesses giving statements along the lines of "I saw Nurse Letby injecting drain cleaner into an IV bag" or similar. I'd bet strong money on there being virtually no physical evidence that ties her to anything what-so-ever. I may, of course, be utterly wrong in that.

Obviously, none of us know her so can't speak definitively as to her personality but I'd suggest that as far as general human behavior is concerned, people find it very, very difficult to deny things when presented with irrefutable evidence of them having done them. As an ex-cop I'm sure you've interviewed hundreds and hundreds of guilty people. Is it common for people to vehemently continue to deny their guilt when presented with is what is irrefutable evidence that they did it?
 

Whitehall 1212

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I hear what you're saying, I do, but I'm afraid that I don't share your confidence. Wrongful arrests and convictions still happen; Rebecca Leighton was only 10 years ago. She was actually charged and remanded until the real murderer came to light. If he'd have nicked off back to wherever he was originally from then RL would almost certainly be inside now and still looking at another couple of decades, at least, of incarceration. The police and CPS certainly assessed the evidence wrongly in her case. Aren't there serious concerns about Colin Norris' case too? I've just read the Wiki entry on him. I'm not convinced he's innocent but it's mentioned in the entry that one of the deaths which was being investigated as a case of murder was apparently changed from suspicious to non-suspicious as soon as it was found that he wasn't on duty. That's not my idea of unbiased investigating and following the evidence, especially in relation to a very serious crime.

Also, I accept what you're saying as regards evidence but, in terms of LL's case, what evidence do we think is likely to be presented? In all likelihood it's going to be highly circumstantial. I think we all know that it's likely to be a mix of her shift patterns, statistical analysis from "experts" as to how likely X number of deaths are in any period of time, what drugs she did or didn't sign for and why, etc. There almost certainly won't be DNA (and what would that prove anyway?), video or eye-witnesses giving statements along the lines of "I saw Nurse Letby injecting drain cleaner into an IV bag" or similar. I'd bet strong money on there being virtually no physical evidence that ties her to anything what-so-ever. I may, of course, be utterly wrong in that.

Obviously, none of us know her so can't speak definitively as to her personality but I'd suggest that as far as general human behavior is concerned, people find it very, very difficult to deny things when presented with irrefutable evidence of them having done them. As an ex-cop I'm sure you've interviewed hundreds and hundreds of guilty people. Is it common for people to vehemently continue to deny their guilt when presented with is what is irrefutable evidence that they did it?
I agree with most of what you say.

In cases based on circumstance and where the suspect has a close relationship with the victim, including care scenarios, then DNA will likely be irrelevant or its presence open to conjecture. In such cases there is the possibility of there being a miscarriage of justice if the prosecution can present a compelling argument of the facts. Sadly the system is not perfect!

I feel that expert witnesses can be a problem. They can only give opinion that is admissible in Court because they are deemed to be 'experts'. I think this can play into an experts felling of superiority and maybe fears of being outed as not as expert as they believe. If their evidence is presented in a robust and forthright manner, then is likely to be viewed as absolutely reliable.

Interestingly, a police officer is deemed to be an expert witness on whether someone is drunk....how many Bobbies have locked up folk for drunk and incapable/disorderly when they are experiencing a hypoglycaemic or other medical episode with similar features to drunkeness? So much for relying on experts without question!

In relation to denials. My experience is that genuinely guilty folk admit the offence, if the evidence is compelling OR

For those that know the system, they'll have a solicitor, maybe provide a written statement and then say 'no comment' to all the interview questions. They rely on the police to prove the evidence without their assistance, when they could inadvertently say something that supports the prosecution case. They also rely on incorrect procedure being followed.

The smallest error could make evidence inadmissible or cast doubt on its veracity. Most cases that are not guilty or dismissed are on account of procedural errors (some on Public Interest Immunity)....modern Major Investigation Teams don't make such procedural errors (not that I know of, anyway)

People proclaiming their innocence when the evidence is circumstantial may well be innocent or think they are....based on their ignorance of what the law says.

I will be extremely concerned if LL's case is based on circumstantial, 'expert opinion' and statistical evidence, particularly in light of the RCPCH and NICE reviews :rolleyes: I hope the jury are a smart bunch.
 

Marantz4250b

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I will be extremely concerned if LL's case is based on circumstantial, 'expert opinion' and statistical evidence, particularly in light of the RCPCH and NICE reviews :rolleyes: I hope the jury are a smart bunch.

I think that we all know (or at least strongly suspect) that this is exactly what the evidence against her is going to be. It seems beyond the realm of reasonable possibility that it could be anything else given the timescales involved. The hospital didn't even consider the possibility of anything criminal until a year or so after the final death and, even then, only invited the police in to look into whether crimes had even been committed. The chances of any physical or even witness evidence being extant seem remote, to say the least. The deaths weren't seen as suspicious at the times they happened so any medical examinations weren't carried out with that in mind. We know that toxicology tests were not carried out, for instance.

Your comments on how genuinely guilty people behave when presented with irrefutable evidence are interesting and accord with my thoughts on the matter. When we think about it, even the raging psychopath Harold Shipman never actually denied guilt at interview. The evidence against him clearly left no room for doubt but rather than trying to deny it he just turned his back and said nothing. We know that LL is denying everything which tends to suggest that, if she has anything like a normal personality then she hasn't been presented with evidence of guilt that she can't rationally deny. So, she's either guilty but the evidence is such that it's arguable - especially when you have a medical knowledge and the police don't - or, she's not guilty and the evidence is such that it could suggest guilt depending on the circumstances.

She was arrested three times and for the first two was held for the maximum allowed extended period, as far as I'm aware. Clearly the police/CPS didn't have evidence of a nature that she could sensibly deny on either of those occasions. If they did they would have charged. Also, this is just my suspicion but I doubt that she is likely to have gone through six days of interviews replying "No Comment" or simply saying nothing. If she's innocent I think she'd have been answering questions, at least at the outset. I don't think she has Shipman-esque levels of arrogance so I doubt her first tack would be to keep silent. You'll know better than me but do you feel that the fact that she was held for the maximum extended periods tends to suggest that she was indeed talking in interview and not just going "no comment" from the outset? I mean, if someone is clearly not talking or offering any assistance then can you really justify to a Mag that you need to keep them for longer? On her final arrest I think she was charged the following day. Would it be reasonable to think that this was the point at which she was advised to give "no comment" responses so that's when they were really faced with no option but to charge or drop everything?
 

TootsieFootsie

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Lucia de Berk was convicted of a murder that she committed at a moment while she was not with the patient at all, instead the medical specialist and his assistant were with the patient at that time.
The link you provided says there was a miscarriage of justice in her case.
She was exonerated after spending 6 years in jail.
She commited no murders.

 
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