Jury still out in care home deaths trial

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A jury will resume its deliberations today in the trial of a former care home manager accused of murdering two elderly residents.

Rachel Baker, 44, is alleged to have killed Frances Hay, 85, and Lucy Cox, 97, with a lethal dose of medication, while she was abusing controlled drugs.

The registered nurse fed her addiction by stealing prescribed and controlled substances from residents at Parkfields Residential Care Home, in Butleigh, Somerset.

Baker, of Boundary Way, Glastonbury, pleads not guilty to two counts of murder.

She also denies alternative counts of attempted murder and manslaughter relating to Mrs Hay, and a count of manslaughter relating to Mrs Cox.

She admitted 10 counts of possessing class A and C drugs, and one of perverting the course of justice.

The jury at Bristol Crown Court retired to consider its verdicts on March 26.

Opening the case in January, prosecutor David Fisher said: "Rachel Baker was, by her own admission, regularly taking prescribed drugs, which must have had a substantial effect on her character and conduct.

"She, for a variety of bizarre and perverted reasons, may have had a desire to control the terminal destiny of some of her residents."

Care assistant Kathy Slade, who worked with Baker, gave evidence, saying she overheard her boss ask Mrs Hay if she wanted to "end it all" two days before she died.

In her evidence, Baker accepted taking the medication amid the "stress, pain and emotional turmoil" of running the home.

But she denied that her "diverting" of residents' drugs ever affected their care.

Baker also revealed feeling "useless" after the death of one resident, Fred Green.