Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 11:48 UK

Murder trial doctor's items sold

Dr John Bodkin Adams
Dr John Bodkin Adams was acquitted of murdering 21 patients

Possessions that once belonged to an East Sussex doctor suspected of murdering patients and benefiting from their wills are going under the hammer.

Dr John Bodkin Adams, who lived and practised in Eastbourne, was acquitted of one murder in 1957 after one of the longest trials in history.

But he was suspected of helping kill dozens of his patients.

He was also struck off the medical register for forging prescriptions and falsifying cremation certificates.

A total of 75 lots are being auctioned next week at Eastbourne Auction Rooms.

Senior valuer Jeanette May said the items, which came from the doctor's former housekeeper, were among the most macabre the auction house had ever handled.

They included a syringe, several fountain pens, his typewriter and a letter from the British Medical Association.

Courtroom sketch

His Plymouth Brethren prayer book includes passages he underlined while awaiting trial at the Old Bailey.

There is also a courtroom sketch of the trial and several photographs.

Bodkin Adams syringe
Items in the auction include a syringe and case used by the doctor

One is of Bobbie Hullett, whose death was surrounded by suspicion.

Her husband, Jack Hullett, a wealthy retired Lloyds underwriter had died of a heart attack on 13 March 1956, a few hours after Dr Bodkin Adams had attended the house and injected him with a dose of morphine.

Six months later, Mrs Hullett died aged 49 from a stroke after a drug-induced overdose.

Dr Bodkin Adams received bequests from 132 of his mostly elderly, mostly female patients, at least 40 of whom died in suspicious circumstances.

He was reinstated to the medical register after four years and lived at the 18-room Kent Lodge in Eastbourne until his death in 1983.

The auction, which is expected to fetch between £2,000 and £10,000, takes place on 11 and 12 June.

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