Charges against saline case nurse dropped

BBC News - Stepping Hill saline deaths: Nurse Rebecca Leighton charges dropped

Remember the case of the several people who died after someone spiked the saline at a Manchester hospital two months ago? And that nurse who was accused of the act and has been in jail since? Well, yesterday all charges against her were dropped, and the nurse was released. There is a statement from her here (or you can watch it, but it is read by her solicitor).

That someone should be wrongly suspected of a crime and released on further investigation is not unusual (and I am glad to see she had no complaints about her treatment while in prison), but Rebecca Leighton was subjected to a smear campaign by the popular press, which accessed her Facebook and published extracts, giving the impression that she hated her job and did not take it seriously, as if that might have been a reason for why she supposedly did this. This should make clear why we have laws restricting reporting on matters which are currently sub judice, because the press are able to smear people’s reputations when they might be innocent, quite apart from the possible effect of prejudicing their trial. The laws should, if anything, be strengthened so that some compensation should be available if, for example, someone finds it more difficult to find employment as a result of their reputation being tarnished by malicious reporting.

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