Shipman wept as he told patient of killing

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A family GP wept openly in front of a patient about the last of the 15 women he allegedly murdered, a court heard yesterday.

A family GP wept openly in front of a patient about the last of the 15 women he allegedly murdered, a court heard yesterday.

Dr Harold Shipman spent half an hour at his surgery telling Lesley Pulford, a patient, about 81-year-old Kathleen Grundy, just before his arrest last September. He is also charged with forging her will, bequeathing her entire estate to him.

In a statement read out at Preston Crown Court, Mrs Pulford, a prosecution witness, said Dr Shipman had told her: "If I could bring her [Mrs Grundy] back and sit her in that chair I would say 'look at all the trouble you have caused. I don't want the money but after all the trouble you've put me through I'm going to have it.'"

She said Dr Shipman went on to tell her that he and his staff had met to decide what to do with Mrs Grundy's money if they received it. "He said all the staff have decided to have a week off each and on the anniversary of her death give so much to old people's homes. If any patient had a baby on that day we would give so much to a charity of their choice."

Mrs Pulford asked Dr Shipman why he had not been arrested. "He said it was all down to toxicology and prioritising cases. Dr Shipman said his solicitor would be told when it was time and he would be asked to attend a police station."

She said Dr Shipman had told her "that will not be the end of it. This won't be over in a short time. The next thing she [Mrs Grundy's daughter] is going to accuse me of is forging her will."

Mrs Pulford said: "I felt sorry for him. It wasn't normal behaviour. He wanted to get it off his chest. He was very emotional, his eyes welling up with tears. I remember thinking I should be sat in his chair and our roles reversed."

Dr Shipman also told Marion Gilchrist, a district nurse who worked with him, that his only mistake was failing to have Mrs Grundy cremated, the court heard. An autopsy concluded Mrs Grundy died of morphine poisoning.

Mrs Gilchrist said Dr Shipman had closed the door of his consulting room before speaking of Mrs Grundy. "He thought this lady had a problem, the day before she had been getting her ears syringed by the practice nurse... She looked awful... he had wanted to take some blood," said Mrs Gilchrist. "He had suspected for some time she may be taking... medication that wasn't prescribed for her and he questioned her on more than one occasion. Mrs Grundy denied this."

Dr Shipman then confided that Mrs Grundy's daughter had approached him about the will. He told her Mrs Grundy had asked him to witness her will but he had refused as she had indicated she would be donating money to his patients' fund. "He said that Mrs Grundy's daughter was a lawyer and her two sons were training to be lawyers" said Mrs Pulford.

As Mrs Gilchrist completed her testimony, Dr Shipman, 53, showed his first sign of emotion since the trial began. He wiped away a tear with a white handkerchief. Dr Shipman of Roe Cross Green, Mottram, near Hyde denies murdering Mrs Grundy and 14 other patients with diamorphine and forging Mrs Grundy's £386,000 will.

A computer expert also testified yesterday that four entries were added to Mrs Grundy's medical record on the day after her death.

The trial continues.

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