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Thursday, October 21, 1999 Published at 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK


'GP's morphine victim had sleeve rolled up'

Dr Shipman denies murdering 15 female patients

One of GP Harold Shipman's alleged victims was found by her daughter dead in her home with her sleeve rolled up and her arm bruised, a court has been told.

The Shipman Trial
The Crown alleges that Dr Shipman murdered Mrs Mellor at her home in Hyde, Greater Manchester, with a lethal injection of morphine.

Kathleen Adamski, Mrs Mellor's daughter, told Preston Crown Court that 73-year-old Winifred Mellor had had "total confidence" in Dr Shipman, who was her GP.

Mrs Mellor was found dead on 11 May 1998.

Dr Shipman, 53 of Mottram, near Hyde, denies her murder and those of 14 other women patients. He also pleads not guilty to forging the £386,000 will of one of them.

Home Office pathologist Dr John Rutherford said Mrs Mellor had suffered from some coronary artery disease.

[ image: Winifred Mellor:
Winifred Mellor: "Exceptionally active"
But he would have been reluctant to attribute the death to it, with a lack of history of other symptoms, he said.

In his opinion the death was due to morphine poisoning, the jury heard.

The jury was told that two entries on the doctor's computer, dated August 1997 and January 1998, recorded Mrs Mellor had complained of chest pains when she kept appointments at the surgery.

The BBC's Stephen Cape: "Mrs Mellor had total confidence in Dr Shipman"
But an examination of the computer had disclosed that both entries were made within two minutes of each other on the afternoon of the day she died.

Another entry dated on the day of her death recorded that she had been suffering pain when she walked upstairs but had refused treatment.

[ image: Dr Shipman's surgery in Hyde]
Dr Shipman's surgery in Hyde
Examination of the computer revealed that the entry had not been made until the morning after her death.

Mrs Adamski told the court that Dr Shipman rang her on the day of her mother died. Mrs Mellor had complained of having a cold, and was planning to see the doctor.

Dr Shipman asked Mrs Adamski if she knew he had been treating her mother for angina since August the previous year.

"I was totally shocked," she said, adding she assumed the doctor was ringing because her mother was unwell.

The court was told that when she asked whether he was sending her to hospital, he said: "Well, there's no point in sending her to hospital."

'Good health'

Mrs Adamski said: "He basically made me guess my mum was dead. I said: `Do you mean she's dead?' He said: `I see you understand'."

Mrs Adamski said her mother had been in good health and had never mentioned angina to her.

She also said he told her on the phone that Mrs Mellor had refused treatment, which she said would be totally out of character.

Susan Duggan, the second-eldest of Mrs Mellor's three daughters, described her mother as exceptionally active, and that she played football with her grandchildren.

And Father Denis Maher, who gave Mrs Mellor the last rites, said the doctor had been "unsympathetic and insensitive" when he spoke to her three daughters while their mother's body was in the same room.

The trial continues.

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20 Oct 99†|†UK
GP's alleged victim had 'good health'

12 Oct 99†|†The Shipman trial
The 15 alleged victims

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