Nurse who killed for kicks is jailed for life

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The Independent Online

A nurse who killed two of his patients "to satisfy his lust for excitement" was jailed for life today.

Benjamin Geen was was told at Oxford Crown Court that he would serve a minimum of 30 years.

Judge Mr Justice Crane told Geen, 25, his actions were a "terrible betrayal of the trust of others in the medical profession and his patients".

He was given life sentences for two counts of murder and 15 of grievous bodily harm.

Geen gave a total of 17 victims injections of drugs such as muscle relaxants, insulin and sedatives to stop them breathing.

Fifteen patients were brought to the brink of death by his actions between December 2003 and February 2004 and struggled back to life. Two did not survive.

David Onley, 75, from Deddington, Oxfordshire, died on January 21, 2004, and Anthony Bateman, 65, from Banbury, died on January 6, 2004, shortly after they were admitted to the accident and emergency department of the Horton General Hospital in Banbury where Geen worked as a staff nurse.

During the nine-week trial at Oxford Crown Court, the jury of six men and six women heard how Geen "came alive" and looked "elated" as his patients went into respiratory arrest.

Geen even "boasted" about the regular action during his shifts and told one doctor: "There is always a resuscitation when I'm on duty."

One nurse came to court to tell how Geen said: "Oh no, here we go again", as murder victim Mr Bateman turned blue and began to fight for breath.

Geen used drugs that were all commonly used in the hospital and readily available in emergencies, but "deadly in the wrong hands".

Eventually, after an alcoholic was admitted with stomach pains and ended up in intensive care, doctors decided something was seriously wrong and launched the investigation that led them to Geen.

He was arrested as he arrived for work the next day - with a full syringe of vecuronium, a muscle relaxant, in his pocket.

During his closing speech, prosecutor Michael Austin Smith QC said that Geen must have known the fatal consequences of what he was doing but said that toying with patients' lives was a "price he was willing to pay in order to satisfy his perverse needs".

He said: "People were at death's door. Most were lucky - two were not.

"And on February 9 when Geen went back to work with that loaded syringe, was there somebody else who was extremely lucky that the authorities had nailed their man?"

Geen's legal team said today they planned to appeal against his conviction.

Mr Justice Crane told Geen: "Your purpose was to cause a collapse of the patient in order that you could take part in the revival of the patient. It seems that you relished the excitement of that feeling of taking control but you must have known quite well that you were playing with their lives."

He said he had "no doubt" that Geen was planning to continue with his lethal attacks, from the fact that he was found with a loaded syringe in his pocket when he was arrested.

"This was a terrible betrayal. You betrayed your nursing and medical colleagues and the vital profession of which you had been a member. Most of all you betrayed the trust of the patients. They were in your care and you intentionally caused them huge damage."