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Monday, 13 December, 1999, 18:51 GMT
Final evidence in Shipman trial

Dr Shipman denies the murder of 15 female patients

The prosecution and defence have finished giving evidence in the trial of family GP Dr Harold Shipman, who is accused of murdering 15 female patients.

More than 100 witnesses, including Dr Shipman himself, have given evidence to Preston Crown Court since the trial began on 5 October.

The hearing was adjourned until 5 January, when lawyers for the defence and prosecution will make closing speeches.

The Shipman Trial
The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict towards the end of January.

Dr Shipman, 53, of Roe Cross Green, Mottram, Hyde, Greater Manchester, denies murdering 15 of his women patients at his Hyde surgery and forging the 386,000 will of one of them, 81-year-old Kathleen Grundy.

Kathleen Grundy: Shipman's fingerprints were on her will
On Monday the jury heard from the final defence witness, fingerprint expert Graham Daniels, who said that two palm prints on letters relating to Mrs Grundy's will were not those of the doctor.

Mr Daniels said, however, that Dr Shipman's fingerprints were on the front and the reverse of Mrs Grundy's forged will.

The prints were from the middle and little fingers of the left hand, indicating that Dr Shipman had handled the document twice.

'Merry Christmas'

Dr Shipman had admitted in evidence that he had handled documents brought into his surgery by Mrs Grundy for him to sign.

But suspecting it was a will making a donation to his surgery patients' fund, he had got two patients from his waiting room to witness it instead, he said.

The Crown alleges that Dr Shipman himself was responsible for the "crude" forgery of the will - which left Mrs Grundy's entire estate to the GP - and the accompanying letters.

The judge told the jurors before they left court that he hoped they had a "very pleasant and relaxed Christmas".

He said: "My clerk said I should think of something profound to say to you since the next time we meet will be in the next millennium.

"I am afraid I have not been able to think of anything. I shall confine myself to the traditional greeting of a Merry Christmas."
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See also:
09 Dec 99 |  UK
Shipman admits not calling ambulance
08 Dec 99 |  UK
Murder trial GP denies stockpiling morphine
07 Dec 99 |  UK
Shipman accused of 'bare-faced lie'
06 Dec 99 |  UK
GP denies 'means and opportunity' to kill
10 Dec 99 |  UK
GP 'fabricated' cremation forms
13 Oct 99 |  The Shipman trial
The prosecution case: 15 alleged victims
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