German nurse gets life for thrill killings

2015-02-26 21:07

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Oldenburg - A German nurse who estimates he killed about 30 patients with injections of a cardiac drug was jailed for life on Thursday on two specimen murder charges.

Niels H, aged 38, whose full name has been withheld under privacy guidelines for media, is already serving seven-and-a-half years in prison on a 2008 conviction for an attempted murder at the hospital.

Judges added a rider recommending no release when he comes up for parole after the usual 15 years.

He was also convicted of two attempted murders and of causing dangerous physical harm to a fifth patient at Delmenhorst Hospital in north-west Germany.

Police are studying up to 200 deaths and ward emergencies during the last decade to see if he can be brought to trial for other cases.

He admits giving overdoses of ajmaline to about 90 frail, elderly patients so he could demonstrate heroism and skill by reviving them in the period 2003 to 2005. About 30 died, he told a psychologist and confirmed in court.

His confession alone is not enough to convict him of the extra cases. The hospital did not notice the unexplained deaths until 2005 when a fellow nurse became suspicious of his behaviour and police were called.

"I really am very sorry," he said a week ago at trial in the city of Oldenburg.

He said that when he succeeded in bringing back patients from the brink of death, he felt good. When he failed to resuscitate them, "I felt crushed." He added that the deaths usually led to a resolution not to take the risk again, but this never lasted long, fading as time went by.

His admission has put the Delmenhorst case on a par with 28 killings of the very ill by a nurse in Sonthofen, southern Germany, for which that man received a life prison sentence in 2006.

Read more on:    germany

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