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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Killer nurse addicted to thrills
Benjamin Geen
Nurse Benjamin Geen joked that he must have been jinxed
Benjamin Geen was a thrill-seeker - one so addicted to drama he was willing to put the lives of those entrusted to his care at risk.

The 25-year-old staff nurse at Horton General Hospital in Banbury, Oxon, revelled in the thrill of trying to revive his patients.

His addiction to excitement eventually led him to kill two and take 15 others to the edge of death.

He poisoned them, causing them to stop breathing, just to enjoy the "drama".

Bernadette Blencowe's 79-year-old mother, Esther Jordan, was one of Geen's victims who survived.

She stopped breathing while being treated at the hospital amid fears she had suffered a stroke.

The family were "devastated" when it became clear her mother had been one of Geen's victims.

Had the hospital not alerted us and done what they had done I am convinced he would have carried on
Det Supt Andy Taylor

Mrs Blencowe, 47, said: "You put so much trust in people. You put your relatives in their care.

"I could not believe someone had done something to make mum more poorly when they should have been making her better.

"I would just like to look him in the eye and ask 'Why? If someone did this to your mother how would you feel?'"

During the time of the events, Geen proudly boasted to NHS colleagues about how there was "always a resusc" during his shifts.

Doctors could not explain the abnormally high level of respiratory arrests between December 2003 and February 2004.

'Maniac on the loose'

Suspicion fell on Geen when it emerged they had all taken place while he was on duty.

When arrested at the hospital on 9 February, 2004, police found a syringe loaded with a potentially lethal muscle relaxant in his pocket.

When asked why there had been so many resuscitation incidents on his shifts, Geen later joked in interview with police that he "must be jinxed".

But during his trial at Oxford Crown Court, Geen was described as "a maniac on the loose" by prosecutor Michael Austin-Smith.

He told Geen: "They (patients) were just bits of flesh as far as you were concerned that gave you an opportunity to practise your skills and satisfy your lust for excitement."

'Brazen' killer

Had Geen not been stopped, he would have gone on to kill again, said the senior investigating officer in the case, Det Sup Andy Taylor.

The Thames Valley Police officer said Geen was "almost narcissistic in his desperate desire to be noticed".

Tuesday's conviction came after an intensive inquiry by Mr Taylor and his officers.

Aware of the potential size of the case they had on their hands, they contacted the teams who investigated serial killer Dr Harold Shipman and convicted child murderer nurse Beverley Allitt to ask for advice on inquiry techniques.

Loaded syringe

The hospital itself singled out 27 cases, of which nine were discounted, leaving 18 cases for further investigation. Geen was acquitted of one charge.

Hospital staff found the attacks "mind-numbing", Mr Taylor said, unable to believe that someone in their midst could actively harm patients.

He added that the hospital did, however, move swiftly once concerns were raised.

Had they not, he said, things could have been much worse.

"He was arriving for a night duty with a loaded syringe," he said. "He was becoming more brazen.

"Had the hospital not alerted us and done what they had done I am convinced he would have carried on."

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