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Disgraced nurse wins backing of Robert McCartney

Former leading unionist politician Robert McCartney QC has come to the defence of disgraced nurse Lynn Sheridan after the Belfast Telegraph revealed she is providing business advice to the Human Rights Commission.

In a letter to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr McCartney, who once led the United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP), said he questioned some of the evidence which led to Sheridan being found guilty of professional misconduct.

Defending Sheridan, who was Mr McCartney's election agent in the run-up to the 2007 Assembly elections, the former MP said: "I would not have the slightest doubt about committing either an elderly relative or grandchild to her care; an opinion which all those who know her personally would endorse."

The barrister added: "I have known Mrs Sheridan both as an employer and a friend for some 12 years.

"I find the substance, format, and prominence of this non story is in itself a violation of her human rights; given the current redemption of those guilty of murder," he said.

Dubbed the "nurse from hell", Sheridan was struck off in 1996 after being found guilty of misconduct which included hitting residents in a nursing home.

Sheridan was investigated by the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting in 1996 when she ran the Dunluce Residential Home in Donaghadee.

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A series of charges against her were proven, which included smacking one elderly female resident and making her stand in a corner, striking another resident a number of times in the face and making a resident stand naked in the corner of her bedroom. She denied all charges.

There was an outcry last week after Belfast Telegraph revealed the former nurse was now working with the Northern Ireland's Human Rights Commission to provide business advice. The commission was unaware that the 48-year-old had been found guilty of misconduct in the nine of 11 charges against her.

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