Nurse’s letter ‘to release tension’

Published: Tuesday 14th April 2015 by The News Editor

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A nurse accused of murdering and poisoning hospital patients told detectives his letter describing himself as a “devil” and “evil” was written to “release the tension”.

Victorino Chua, 49, was questioned about the 13-page handwritten document found in a kitchen draw when his house was searched after his arrest in January 2012 on suspicion of murder.

In the letter, Chua, on trial accused of murdering three patients and poisoning others in his care at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Cheshire, talks in depths of his troubles and personal life.

Today the jury at Manchester Crown Court heard the defendant’s police interview where he was questioned closely about passages in the letter by Detective Constable Simon Howe of Greater Manchester Police.

The Filipino father-of-two told the officer he wrote the notes down after a suggestion from his counsellor to make himself feel better.

And he also claimed it was partly to do with helping his teenage niece studying journalism back in the Philippines and asking him to describe what life was like in the UK.

“I wrote that letter when I got nothing to do, so I’m releasing all the things on my mind,” Chua told the officer.

He said he began writing after seeing an occupational health counsellor through work in June 2010.

Chua added: “When I was having that counselling she said ‘write down all your anger and frustration and throw it away to release it’. What was inside my head. The occupational health said ‘just write these things in your head so it will be released’. When something pops into my mind to release the tension.”

Mr Howe asked Chua about why he had described himself as “evil at the same time angel.”

Chua described himself as a “Robin Hood guy” that while a nurse in the Philippines he would help poor people from the slums to get cheap medical care through his connections – but was also “dealing under the table” for other goods like car accessories.

Chua suggested his own meaning of evil was “doing the wrong things” and “not playing fair” and was not the same as what it meant to the police officer.

Mr Howe continued: “It’s quite a deep letter, and things in there you probably would not tell people, ‘I want to end my life’. You have called this the, ‘bitter nurse confession’. Something happened to me, angel turned into evil person.”

Chua, appearing to talk about his time at Stepping Hill Hospital, replied: “When I started there I’m like an angel there, very kind to me. Then when I have been there for more than two years their approach is different. They are thinking I’m a devil because I’m quiet. I just concentrate first on my job.”

Mr Howe again cited more phrases from Chua’s letter, talking about an angel turning into an evil person and about him writing, “my family will make history here in England”.

Chua replied: “You’re meaning is different to my meaning.”

He said it meant while he and his wife may return back to the Philippines in the future, his daughters were here to stay in the UK and so would make family history there.

The defendant was then asked why he had written: “Got lots to tell but I just take it to my grave.”

Chua said this was to do with his suspicion that his wife was seeing another man and he wanted to tell her this but he will, “take all the bitterness to my grave”.

Between June and July 2011, Chua is alleged to have contaminated saline bags and ampoules with insulin using a hypodermic needle at Stepping Hill Hospital, causing three deaths and a series of poisonings.

The Crown say the defendant changed tack in January 2012 amid an ongoing police investigation and increased security when he deliberately altered drug dosages on prescription charts.

Chua has pleaded not guilty to 36 charges in all, including three alleged murders, one count of grievous bodily harm with intent, 23 counts of attempted grievous bodily harm, eight counts of attempting to cause a poison to be administered and one count of administering a poison.

In all 21 patients suffered as a result of Chua’s alleged “handiwork”, with three of them murdered, Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71, and Derek Weaver, 83, jurors were told.

Earlier Chua was challenged about changes discovered to a prescription chart and the addition of a new drug for a patient whose daughter he had clashed with hours earlier.

Maria Pawlyszyn, 86, had been admitted to Chua’s ward at Stepping Hill Hospital after she suffered a suspected mild heart attack.

Her daughter, Anna Dodd, has told the jury she and Chua had words shortly after he introduced himself, when her mother was transferred to Ward A3 just after midnight on January 2, 2012.

Ms Dodd said she told Chua that her mother was supposed to be placed on a heart monitor but he replied he could not do that because there was no such recommendation in her medical notes and he was “very rude”.

A heart monitor was eventually brought after she spoke to a ward sister but when she returned to her mother’s bedside she said Chua “sort of stormed away” and she explained she could see he was “very angry”.

Ms Dodd then said Chua arrived with the monitor and “threw it” on a bed table.

Ms Dodd told him if anything happened to her mother overnight he would “have me to answer to”.

Later that day it was discovered seven patients had their prescriptions changed.

Recommended drug dosages for Ms Pawlyszyn from a doctor had been increased on her chart, from 5mg to 15mg for one drug, 90mg to 180mg for another and 10mg to 40mg for a third.

Another drug, bisoprolol – which the doctor said she had not ordered – also appeared on the chart, and if administered, could have caused a heart attack.

Mr Howe said: “This is a patient, you had an altercation with the mother. This is the worst one, double, treble increases in dosages and addition of a drug that would have led to cardiac arrest.”

But Chua told the officer, “everybody had access” to the prescription charts and he was “positive” he had not altered the dosages.

Published: Tuesday 14th April 2015 by The News Editor

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