Rape and murder suspect quizzed over further sexual assault allegations at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

A Blackpool Victoria Hospital worker suspected of murdering a patient – and launching two rapes, and a sex attack on a colleague – has been quizzed over further alleged offences.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 12:48 pm

The unnamed medic, who has been suspended from work and is on bail until September 3, was questioned yesterday (July 5) by detectives investigating the rape of two patients and seven sex attacks on healthcare professionals working on the stroke unit.

Police said the man, who was first held for questioning in March, was voluntarily interviewed and not arrested.

In May, Blackpool’s coroner was told the alleged murder victim, Valerie Kneale, 75, was admitted to hospital after a stroke but after breaking her leg falling out of a chair died four days later in November 2018.

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A post-mortem examination was carried out as part of a separate investigation into the alleged poisoning and neglect of patients on the stroke unit - and discovered she died from bleeding caused by a vaginal injury, Mrs Kneale's inquest at Blackpool town hall, which was adjourned until a later date, was told.

The long-running poison plot probe, launched two-and-a-half years ago after a whistle-blower raised the alarm, led to eight potential victims being found.

Detectives believe they were given prescription-only drugs to keep them heavily sedated at night, with seven medics quizzed and released under investigation.

The drug, Zopiclone, is widely used and, when used properly, perfectly safe.

A man who was arrested by police as part of ongoing investigations related to Blackpool Victoria Hospital has been voluntarily interviewed in connection with further alleged offences.
A man who was arrested by police as part of ongoing investigations related to Blackpool Victoria Hospital has been voluntarily interviewed in connection with further alleged offences.

A "number" of post-mortems were carried out, though police refused to say how many.

One daughter, who was told to cancel her dad's funeral so tests could be done, said: "I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy."

Anyone with information in connection with the investigation can contact police on 101, quoting log number 0942 of March 3.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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