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Ordeal of wrongly accused nurse

Published 31/05/2015

Nurse Rebecca Leighton spent six weeks in custody wrongly accused of the Stepping Hill Hospital murders
Nurse Rebecca Leighton spent six weeks in custody wrongly accused of the Stepping Hill Hospital murders

A woman who was wrongly accused over the Stepping Hill Hospital murders has said she will "never be able to put this behind me fully".

Rebecca Leighton, 31, has spoken of her ordeal for the first time since the real killer, Victorino Chua, was convicted earlier this month of murdering and poisoning patients at the Stockport hospital.

The nurse was arrested at her flat in Stockport in July 2011 and was later charged with causing criminal damage intending to endanger life or being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

She was remanded in custody and refused bail for her own safety,

Six weeks later she was freed from Styal Prison in Cheshire after the Crown Prosecution Service said the case against her had been discontinued because there was not sufficient evidence to proceed further.

Police eventually arrested Chua in January 2012 and he remained on bail until he was charged last March.

In an interview with the Sunday People, Ms Leighton said: "It has affected my life deeply. You can't just forget that.

"I've wasted four years of my life. I can't get that time back. I went from being this bubbly, happy-go-lucky, hardworking girl to my life being taken totally out of my control.

"It was such a horrific time. I was wrongly caught up in it, chewed up and spat out. I'll never be able to put this behind me fully."

Ms Leighton, who now works in a care home, added she hoped Chua's victims and their families now have closure.

Filipino nurse Chua, 49, will serve a minimum of 35 years after he was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to life for two murders and 20 other poisonings.

The father-of-two secretly injected insulin into saline bags and ampoules which were then used unwittingly by other nurses at the hospital.

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