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Tuesday, 30 November, 1999, 15:04 GMT
Shipman patient 'had life-threatening illnesses'
shipman Dr Harold Shipman denies murdering 15 women patients

Dr Harold Shipman has said one of his alleged victims suffered from a variety of life-threatening illnesses.

The Shipman Trial
Jean Lilley had lung disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and circulation trouble linked with heart disease, he told the jury at Preston Crown Court.

Dr Shipman, 53, of Mottram, near Hyde, in Greater Manchester, denies murdering 15 of his women patients with morphine injections and forging the 386,000 will of one of them.

He said 59-year-old Mrs Lilley had become so disabled by her conditions that she and her husband were forced to move from their house in Hyde to a ground-floor flat.

Dr Shipman said: "Any one of the illnesses she had could kill her."

On the day of her death in 1997 she called his surgery requesting a home visit, he said.

Jean Lilley Jean Lilley suffered from lung disease
When he arrived at the flat, the door was unlocked and he found her sitting in a chair.

She told him she had pains in her chest, was not breathing very well and "felt awful".

He said he told her she needed to go into hospital where her condition could be monitored, but she was not keen so he asked her to contact her family and discuss it.

"I impressed upon her the seriousness of her chest condition," Dr Shipman told the jury.

'No point in resuscitation'

Dr Shipman said 15 to 20 minutes after he left Mrs Lilley's flat his bleeper went off. His receptionist told him over the telephone Mrs Lilley had collapsed and asked if he would return to her home.

When he arrived he found Mrs Lilley lying on the bed.

Ambulance personnel were at the scene. One told him they had assessed Mrs Lilley and decided there was no point in taking any resuscitation measures.

Dr Shipman said he assessed the cause of death as heart failure, linked to her other conditions.

He said Mrs Lilley's husband later told him his wife had been breathless and uncomfortable earlier in the day.

'Complaints of hypertension'

The jury also heard evidence about another of the GP's alleged victims.

Muriel Grimshaw, 76, was a patient at Dr Shipman's previous surgery and followed him to his practice in Market Street, Hyde.

The pensioner was regularly examined at the surgery following complaints of hypertension.

The jury was told how Mrs Grimshaw was seen by Dr Shipman on July 14 1997, the day before her death.

The defendant said Mrs Grimshaw told him an earlier back complaint, which he visited her at home for, had gone.

He said he was told by his receptionist early the next day there was a request for him to visit Mrs Grimshaw's home because it was thought she was dead.

The trial continues.

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See also:
26 Nov 99 |  UK
Shipman admits back-dating records
25 Nov 99 |  UK
Shipman takes the stand
13 Oct 99 |  The Shipman trial
The prosecution case: 15 alleged victims
09 Nov 99 |  UK
GP patients 'had lethal morphine dose'
10 Nov 99 |  UK
Shipman defence attacks morphine theory
29 Nov 99 |  UK
GP 'decided not to resuscitate patient'
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