Thursday, September 22, 2011

Severe fallout from a hasty and wrong prosecution in Britain

The nurse cleared of poisoning patients told yesterday how she is too frightened to walk down the street alone.

Rebecca Leighton, 27, said she had been portrayed as an ‘Angel of Death’ after she spent six weeks in custody as police investigated the deaths of several patients from suspected saline drip contamination.

She said the ‘normal life’ she enjoyed before she was arrested had been destroyed.

Miss Leighton, who remains subject to another on-going investigation, told ITV’s This Morning show: ‘It’s hard to even say about having a normal life because now my life isn’t normal.

‘I’m not working. I can’t go outside my house without people taking pictures of me. ‘I can’t walk down the street on my own because I’m kind of a bit scared really, someone’s always got to be with me all the time.’

The ten-minute chat with presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield was billed as Miss Leighton’s ‘first and only interview’.

She described herself as ‘such a caring person’ and told how she ‘loved’ working as a nurse and was ‘passionate’ about looking after patients.

Her 6am arrest at her home over the poisonings at Stepping Hill Hospital, in Stockport, was ‘horrendous, absolutely horrendous’, she said. But, she added she had still thought she ‘would be home for tea-time because surely they know I’ve not done anything wrong’.

Miss Leighton, who appeared to have had a makeover for her TV appearance, said: ‘I pleaded with the police every day, all the time, just please don’t stop looking, don’t stop with me because if you do then surely the person that has done these horrific things is still going to be out there. ‘It worried me so much that the patients, the staff, everybody was still going to be affected by it.’

After being charged with contaminating saline fluids with insulin, Miss Leighton was refused bail for her own protection.

The Crown Prosecution Service dropped the contamination charges earlier this month because of lack of sufficient evidence against her.

Yesterday Miss Leighton claimed the publication of photographs of her partying on nights out had portrayed her in a way that led the public to form the ‘wrong opinion’ of her.

Asked by Schofield to explain the circumstances surrounding the pictures, which included one of her swigging from a wine bottle, Miss Leighton said: ‘I was just being any normal girl, out with my friends having a good time. Everybody I know does that.’

Police continue to investigate the deaths of patients Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, Derek Weaver, 83, and four more potential victims.

Yesterday Miss Leighton said she did not know if she would return to nursing. She said: ‘I’d like to think that I’m a stronger person and have learnt to appreciate life more than maybe what [sic] I did before.’

Original report here

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