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Monday, October 25, 1999 Published at 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK


GP called dead patient a 'nuisance'

Dr Shipman: "Laughed" after patient died

Family GP Dr Harold Shipman laughingly referred to one of his alleged murder victims as a "nuisance" as she lay dead in the treatment room of his surgery, his trial has heard.

The Shipman Trial
Dr Shipman went on to treat three other patients before telling his receptionist that 63-year-old Ivy Lomas had died, Preston Crown Court was told.

Mrs Lomas was a regular visitor to Dr Shipman's surgery in Hyde, Greater Manchester.

The BBC's Stephen Cape: "Shipman considered her a nuisance"
Detective Sergeant Philip Reade, who called in after Mrs Lomas's death in May 1997, said Dr Shipman spoke to him after showing him her body.

He said: "He said she was a nuisance. He was laughing.

[ image: Ivy Lomas: Complained of bronchial problems]
Ivy Lomas: Complained of bronchial problems
"He said he considered her such a nuisance he thought about having part of the seating area reserved permanently for Ivy Lomas and mounting a plaque to the effect `Seat reserved permanently for Ivy Lomas'."

Lethal morphine doses

Dr Shipman, 53, of Mottram, near Hyde, denies killing 15 of his women patients between March, 1995, and June last year. He also pleads not guilty to forging the 386,000 will of one of them.

He allegedly killed all the women with lethal doses of morphine.

The court heard Dr Shipman told police Mrs Lomas had complained of bronchial problems and he had left her in his treatment room to rest, before finding her dead 10 to 15 minutes later.

[ image: Mrs Lomas died at Dr Shipman's surgery]
Mrs Lomas died at Dr Shipman's surgery
Receptionist Carol Chapman told the court Dr Shipman "seemed red and flushed" after he emerged from the treatment room where he had led Mrs Lomas.

He then saw three other patients who were waiting in the surgery before calling her into his office.

"He told me he had tried to put Mrs Lomas on the electrocardiograph machine, but he thought it wasn't working because he couldn't get a reading and he realised she had died," said Mrs Chapman.

Peter Wright, QC, prosecuting, asked Mrs Chapman how Dr Shipman had seemed as he told her Mrs Lomas had died.

She said: "He was always calm. He never got worked up about anything. He was always calm to keep us calm, I think."

Dr Shipman said on Mrs Lomas's death certificate that she had suffered a stroke.

But Home Office pathologist Dr John Rutherford said in his opinion death was due to morphine poisoning.

The trial continues.

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