Police in GP case look into 116 deaths

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DETECTIVES investigating the doctor accused of murdering four women patients are now said to be linking a total of 116 deaths with the case.

Dr Harold Shipman, a 52-year-old GP from Hyde in Greater Manchester, is expected to be charged with two more murders this week. Three more bodies are to be exhumed by Tameside police.

The doctor is due in court this morning for a committal hearing. He is charged with the murder of 81-year-old widow Kathleen Grundy, Bianka Pomfret, 49, and Joan Melia and Winifred Mellor, both 73. He is said to be on permanent suicide watch.

The investigation, believed to be the biggest murder inquiry in the world, began after Mrs Grundy's daughter, Angela Woodruff, raised concerns about her death. Mrs Grundy, who had once been mayoress of Hyde, owned a pounds 150,000 17th-century cottage, a pounds 60,000 flat in the Lake District and a pounds 90,000 house. Dr Shipman is also charged with forging Mrs Grundy's pounds 300,000 will.

Six bodies have been exhumed. The family of one suspected victim, Marie Fernley, refused permission for her body, buried in Malta, to be exhumed.