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article imageOp-Ed: Murder in the UK – the innocent, the guilty, and the maybe

By Alexander Baron     Sep 20, 2011 in Crime
As Rebecca Leighton gives her first TV interview after being cleared of the Stepping Hill Hospital murders, a man who murdered for ‘fame’ is given a life sentence, and another murder suspect prepares to stand trial.
Two months ago, an investigation at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, resulted in a nurse, Rebecca Leighton, being charged with sabotaging medical equipment with intent to endanger life. At that time, five suspicious deaths had been identified, as what the police described as a complex investigation continued. Rebecca Leighton was never charged with murder, and indeed the word was never used by the legal authorities, including the Stockport Coroner. Miss Leighton has now been released, and in spite of some innuendo from the police, it is clear from the pronouncements of the CPS that she will not be either rearrested or charged in connection with this investigation.
Yesterday, she gave her first TV interview, to ITV’s This Morning programme where she said fingers are still pointed at her, and that she does not go out unescorted. This is something the loonies of the self-styled 9/11 Truth Movement should bear in mind before making outrageous or even ludicrous claims against all and sundry from the President down.
Although she has now been cleared to return to work, she cannot – for the moment at any rate – go back to Stepping Hill. She also has other restrictions on her, for her own protection as much as anyone else’s.
At an internal disciplinary hearing held in London, Miss Leighton is said to have admitted to stealing drugs like (convicted serial killer) Harold Shipman.
Perhaps that should better read “like many of our MPs”; if the police were to arrest every nurse or hospital worker who took home the odd packet of painkillers, half our hospitals would be unstaffed.
While the cloud of suspicion still hangs over Rebecca Leighton in some people’s eyes, we should none of us be too surprised if at some time in the not too distant future either another totally unconnected person is charged in connection with these deaths or perhaps more likely, the authorities announce it has all been a terrible mistake. As all but one of the alleged victims was elderly, that may indeed be the case, and the allusions with Harold Shipman and Beverley Allitt might be replaced with one to Dr Bodkin Adams.
Meanwhile, a man who has admitted strangling a young woman to death has appeared in court for a case management hearing, which will probably be his last court appearance before his trial. Vincent Tabak is accused of murdering architect Joanna Yeates, whose body was found dumped in a country lane on Christmas Day last year. Tabak’s trial will open on October 4, but one trial has already been decided in this case, that of the newspapers who went too far when reporting on the first suspect, Chris Jefferies. Like Liberace, Mr Jefferies cried all the way to the bank.
Finally, a man who murdered two people because he wanted to be famous didn’t even make the front page of the Daily Telegraph. Able Seaman Ryan Donovan served on a submarine in the Royal Navy, a prestigious post. On April 8 last year he appears to have gone berserk on board nuclear submarine Astute, and shot dead his commanding officer; the fact that only one other person was wounded was due to the actions of two members of Southampton City Council who were visiting the base.
At the time there was understandably considerable media speculation – was this another of those dreaded Islamists, perhaps? When it emerged that Donovan was white, could he have been a convert who had been “radicalised”, or maybe there was an Irish terrorist connection? It is now clear that he was no terrorist but has more in common with the delusional spree killer Anders Breivik who sees himself as the saviour of Norway as though the mass murder of nearly a hundred young people is the best way to save the Nordic race from the Islamic menace that is currently being peddled in Britain by the likes of Nick Griffin.
Yesterday, Donovan was given a life sentence at Winchester Crown Court with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 25 years. His motivation was purely that he wanted to become famous. It may be that at some future date his deeds will be “immortalised” by a murder ballad as were those of Brenda Spencer with the song I Don’t Like Mondays, but it is more likely that like that other miserable wretch Fiona Donnison, he will be quickly forgotten.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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