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Friday, 3 December, 1999, 18:05 GMT
GP 'wicked' to call patient addict
shipman Dr Harold Shipman denies murdering 15 women patients

Murder trial GP Harold Shipman was "quite wicked" to brand as a drug addict an 81-year-old widow he is accused of murdering, a court has heard.

The Shipman Trial
The prosecution at Dr Shipman's trial allege he created false computer records referring to a possible drug habit for Kathleen Grundy, in order to explain why morphine would be found in her body.

Mrs Grundy was found dead in her home in Hyde, Greater Manchester, just four hours after Shipman visited her to take a blood sample.

Dr Shipman, 53, of Mottram, near Hyde, is accused of murdering Mrs Grundy with an injection of diamorphine, and forging her 386,000 will.

He also stands accused of murdering 14 other of his women patients. The doctor denies all the charges.

Court heard Mrs Grundy died of morphine poisoning
On Dr Shipman's seventh day in the witness box he accepted that Mrs Grundy had died of morphine poisoning, not of old age as he wrote on her death certificate.

But he said he made his initial diagnosis on the evidence available to him at the time.

"Having heard the toxicology evidence I would amend my diagnosis as to cause of death," he told Preston Crown Court.

"It follows she had it administered or took it herself some time between when I saw her and when she was found dead," he added.

He said he had never at any time thought he had been left hundreds of thousands of pounds by Mrs Grundy.

But Richard Henriques QC, prosecuting, said: "I suggest that your attributing a drug habit to Mrs Grundy is quite wicked."

Stockpiling morphine

Dr Shipman was also asked about his treatment of another patient, not the subject of any charges, for whom he prescribed diamorphine and then claimed to have left an ampoule of the drug in her home in case it had to be administered for pain relief.

Mr Henriques told him: "That, I suggest, is sheer invention by you."

The Crown claims Dr Shipman prescribed diamorphine for other patients but never administered it as a way of stock-piling supplies of the drug.

'Bogus' blood test

Dr Shipman was asked why he had made no note on Mrs Grundy's medical card that he had gone to take blood samples from her on the day of her death.

Mr Henriques told him: "I am going to suggest you deliberately didn't make an entry on that day because criminal conduct was afoot."

Shipman replied: "I did not deliberately do it. I have already said it is not my custom to write down every test I do on a patient on one day."

Mr Henriques accused the doctor of using a "bogus pretext" to get a number of details from Mrs Grundy so that he could forge her will.

The doctor denied this. The trial was adjourned until Monday.

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See also:
01 Dec 99 |  UK
Murder trial doctor weeps
02 Dec 99 |  UK
Shipman trial delayed by illness
30 Nov 99 |  UK
Patient 'died during chat with GP'
29 Nov 99 |  UK
GP 'decided not to resuscitate patient'
26 Nov 99 |  UK
Shipman admits back-dating records
25 Nov 99 |  UK
Shipman takes the stand
10 Nov 99 |  UK
Shipman defence attacks morphine theory
13 Oct 99 |  The Shipman trial
The prosecution case: 15 alleged victims
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