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Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 18:09 GMT
Nurse guilty of killing patients
Colin Norris outside Newcastle Crown Court
Colin Norris killed four patients at two hospitals in Leeds

A nurse has been found guilty of murdering elderly patients in his care at two Leeds hospitals.

Colin Norris, 32, had denied killing the four women at Leeds General Infirmary and St James's Hospital in 2002 by injecting them with insulin.

Norris, of Egilsay Terrace, Glasgow, was also convicted of the attempted murder of another patient.

The family of one of his victims, Ethel Hall, has called for an inquiry into Norris's killing spree.

The trial heard suspicions were raised when Norris predicted the death of Mrs Hall who soon afterwards slipped into a fatal coma.

Mrs Hall, 86, from Calverley, Leeds, was recovering after hip surgery at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) at the time of her death.

I just hope that he isn't let out so he can do it again
Ethel Hall's son Stuart

Tests later showed about 12 times the normal level of insulin in her blood, which the prosecution claimed was caused by injections from Norris.

Police then looked into other patients' deaths and discovered that three more elderly women had slipped into hypoglycaemic comas and died while under Norris's care.

The staff nurse has been found guilty of the murders of Mrs Hall, Doris Ludlum, 80, of Pudsey, and Bridget Bourke, 88, of Holbeck, at LGI.

He was also convicted of the murder of Irene Crooks, 79, of Leeds, at St James's Hospital and the attempted murder of Vera Wilby, 90, of Rawdon, at the infirmary.

'Opportunity to poison'

Mrs Hall's son Stuart told the BBC he was "happy" that Norris had been convicted, and hoped he would receive a lengthy prison sentence.

He said: "I just hope that he isn't let out so he can do it again.

"I would like an inquiry to find out what mistakes were made, what the trust could have done to the better and what they have done to rectify it so it can't happen again."

Ethel Hall
The nurse gave Ethel Hall a lethal dose of insulin

After the verdict, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust apologised to the victims' families for Norris's "disturbing" crimes and described him as an "extremely dangerous criminal".

Medical director, Dr Hugo Mascie-Taylor, said changes implemented at the trust's hospitals included the wider use of CCTV, card entry to parts of the hospital and a permanent police presence on site.

But he said the trust believed none of those actions would have prevented Norris from killing.

West Yorkshire Police said that during their investigation more than 7,000 statements had been taken and more than 3,000 exhibits seized.

Speaking outside the court, Det Ch Supt Chris Gregg said: "What has shone through during this investigation and the trial is the absolute professionalism of the medical and nursing staff and the hospitals we've been working in.

"That's with one clear exception - Colin Norris.

"Whilst other people at those hospitals were duly caring for the patients, Colin Norris was doing the opposite.

"He was looking for opportunities to poison them by insulin."

Norris, who was convicted on a majority verdict, will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Footage of Colin Norris being interviewed by police

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