Stepping Hill killer nurse racked up £800,000 legal aid bill


A "devil" nurse who murdered two patients and poisoned 20 others received nearly £800,000 to help defend himself, figures have shown.

Self-styled 'angel turned evil' Victorino Chua injected insulin into saline bags and ampoules, leading nurses to unwittingly cause a series of insulin overdoses.

Chua was told he would serve a minimum of 35 years before being eligible for parole when he was given a life sentence at Manchester Crown Court in July 2015.

A Freedom of Information request by the Daily Mail revealed £779,000 was given to Chua in legal aid - and the paper reported this was higher than the total compensation awarded to his victims.

The figures show £379,991 was paid in solicitor costs, £308,445 in barrister costs and £90,566 for various other legal expenses.

The paper added that while one of Chua's victims received £500,000 in compensation, a number of others received less than £10,000 each to make a total of £760,475.

Lynda Bleasdale, whose 83-year-old brother Derek Weaver was poisoned, told the paper: 'It's totally unjust. The compensation my family received was barely enough to cover my brother's funeral costs.

"For his lawyers to be paid so much more than the families is appalling - I find it absolutely disgraceful.

'It shows there's something wrong with the system. More money should have been spent on the victims instead."

Father-of-two Chua, 51, carried out his crimes at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, with a judge describing his actions as "indescribably wicked".

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Openshaw said: "What he did was inexplicable and irrational.

"He did not personally administer contaminated products directly to most of these patients but having left saline bags contaminated with insulin he did not know which nurse would unwittingly collect them and still less to which patient the nurse would then unwittingly administer the poison.

"It is as if he left it to fate to decide who would be the victim."

Among the evidence produced by the prosecution was a self-penned letter found at Chua's home in Stockport after his arrest in January 2012.

In it, described as "the bitter nurse confession" by Chua, he said he was "an angel turned into an evil person" and "there's a devil in me".

He also wrote of having things he would "take to the grave".

Chua was convicted of two murders, 22 counts of attempted grievous bodily harm, one count of grievous bodily harm, seven attempts of administering poison and one count of administering poison, following a four-month trial.