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Sixth hospital insulin victim named

Police have named a sixth person believed to have died after being "deliberately poisoned with insulin" at a hospital.

John Beeley, 73, is the latest person to be named by police in Greater Manchester investigating the suspicious deaths of patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Mr Beeley, who was know as Jack, died on Friday.

Tracey Arden, Arnold Lancaster, Derek Weaver, William Dickson and Linda McDonagh were also among 21 people believed to have been unlawfully administered insulin at Stepping Hill between June and July 2011.

Detective Superintendent Simon Barraclough said: "It is really important that we differentiate between the deaths of Tracey Arden, Arnold Lancaster and Derek Weaver - who died shortly after being poisoned - and the three subsequent deaths.

"We believe insulin may have played more than a minimal part in the deaths of Tracy, Arnold and Derek. While we are continuing to undertake stringent tests into the deaths of all six patients, we believe that it is highly likely the later deaths should more properly be attributed to natural disease.

"Due to the complexity of the medical conditions presented by all those who were poisoned and have since died, we have engaged the help of a team of highly experienced experts who continue to carry out comprehensive testing. It is only when these tests have been concluded that we will be able to say with authority how they died, based on expert scientific evidence."

Earlier, grandmother Linda McDonagh, 60 - named as the fifth patient whose death is being investigated by police - was described by her children as a "devoted" mother who was "soft and gentle".

She was poisoned while battling with motor neurone disease and pneumonia, her family said. She is one of the 21 patients thought to have been deliberately contaminated with insulin, who all suffered hypoglycaemic episodes after saline drips were sabotaged.

The former administrator in an NHS clinic died on January 14 after deciding to remove the non-invasive ventilator, or breathing mask, from her face because she had "had enough" following her diagnosis with the disease two-and-a-half years ago.

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