Killer hid behind image of a caring nurse

To friends and colleagues Colin Norris appeared a dedicated and caring nurse. He was described as a "personable, decent young man, close to his granny". But Norris harboured a more sinister side - a growing dislike of the elderly.

A clear motive for his killing spree remains unclear, although a general dislike of the elderly was mentioned as a possible factor by prosecutors.

He enjoyed a normal upbringing and came from a loving, caring and supportive family.

Norris's mother, June, and his stepfather, Raymond Morrison, live in a neat terrace in the Milton area of Glasgow.

The couple have lived there for several years, although Norris is not thought to have lived with them.

His grandmother lives in the neighbouring street. A neighbour said: "He is a personable, decent young man, close to his granny. He used to be a regular visitor."

Another neighbour added: "He was always independent. I think he went away when he was quite young to study or get a job."

He was born in Glasgow in February 1976 and raised in Partick.

Academically he was fairly average, achieving six GCSEs at school. He studied travel afterwards and then worked in travel agencies before switching careers to train as a nurse.

He has never been unemployed and always had an interest in nursing, even before college, friends said.

He studied for a Higher Nursing Diploma at Dundee University in the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Sept 1998, aged 22.

In January and September 1999 he attended lectures on diabetes and the treatment of diabetic patients with insulin. He graduated in June 2001.

While training as a nurse he worked on ward 11 at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee where he learned about the diabetic management of patients with diabetes.

In 1999 he went to ward 7 of Royal Victoria Hospital in Dundee where he cared for elderly patients. He also did placements in nursing homes.

It was while working in these institutions that his general dislike of the elderly may have begun.

When he was charged by West Yorkshire Police detectives launched an inquiry in Scotland after discovering that he trained at Dundee's Ninewells Hospital.

Police established that Norris would have had access to patients during his work placements, although there is no evidence to suggest he harmed the patients there.

In October 2001 he worked on ward 36 at the Leeds General Infirmary.

Colleagues said there was nothing to distinguish him - his only vice was popping out onto the fire escape for a cigarette during night shifts.

He was then transferred to the orthopaedic ward at St James's Hospital before Ethel Hall's death.

During police questioning in December 2002, he told officers "he seemed to have been unlucky over the last 12 months".

Police tried to jog his memory of the individual patients later. He told them he could recall Vera Wilby's distinctive hair-style but did not recall the others, even when shown photographs. When he was charged he said: "I have never done any of it."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?