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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Murder charge nurse took overdose
Anne Grigg-Booth
Anne Grigg-Booth's chronic alcoholism contributed to her death
A nurse charged with murdering three patients accidentally overdosed on anti-depressants, an inquest has heard.

Anne Grigg-Booth, 52, of Nelson, Lancs, took eight times the normal dose of the drug, Burnley Coroners Court was told.

When she died the ex-matron was facing a trial, as she was accused of killing three women aged 96, 75 and 67, at Airedale General Hospital in Keighley.

She had denied the offences and was on bail when she was found dead at her home on 29 August last year.

Ms Grigg-Booth was also facing 13 counts of unlawfully administering poison to 12 other patients. Police formally discontinued the case after her death.

'Accidental death'

Richard Taylor, HM Coroner for East Lancashire, ruled out suicide, and recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Ms Grigg-Booth had descended into alcoholism after being suspended from Airedale General Hospital in West Yorkshire, the inquest heard.

Airedale General Hospital
Detectives looked at a number of suspicious deaths at the hospital

She also had money worries and had split up with her husband.

Pathologist Dr John Rutherford, said tests showed she had signs of chronic alcoholism.

Blood samples revealed seven or eight times the "therapeutic amount" of the anti-depressant Mirtazepine - although fatal doses of the drug are usually around 27 times the safe amount.

Dr Rutherford told the court it was probable she overdosed on a lower amount because alcohol had damaged her liver.

Ex-husband Paul Booth, a former staff nurse, described his former wife as dedicated to her job but said she could be "pig headed" and was "very clever at manipulating".

Routine checks

The relationship broke down after bailiffs turned up to repossess their home - he was totally unaware she had run up massive debts.

West Yorkshire Police were alerted to Grigg-Booth after a routine audit at the hospital picked up irregularities.

She was charged with murdering June Driver, 67, in July 2000, who was being treated for an infection after a hip replacement; Eva Blackburn, 75, in November 2001 and 96-year-old Annie Midgley in July 2002, admitted with abdominal pain.

She was also accused of trying to kill 42-year-old Michael Parker in June 2002.

Nurse murder charge cases closed
08 Sep 05 |  West Yorkshire
Nurse 'could have murdered more'
30 Aug 05 |  West Yorkshire
Body of murder charge nurse found
30 Aug 05 |  West Yorkshire
Nurse in court on murder charges
04 Mar 05 |  West Yorkshire
Nurse charged with three murders
27 Sep 04 |  West Yorkshire

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