Manchester

Stepping Hill saline deaths: Rebecca Leighton statement

Image caption Rebecca Leighton's lawyer Carl Richmond read the statement, flanked by her parents

Here is the statement from Rebecca Leighton, against whom charges of contaminating saline at Stockport's Stepping Hill Hospital have been dropped.

The statement was read by her solicitor Carl Richmond, who was flanked by Miss Leighton's parents, outside the family home.

"First and foremost I would wish to thank with all my heart all of those people who have supported me and have not given up on me and never doubted my innocence during this living nightmare.

"If it was not for the unerring love and support of my family, my mum Lynda, dad David and brother Darren, my fiance Tim, and all my friends, I do not know how I would have coped.

"I would also like to thank the members of the public who have also supported me and have believed in my innocence.

"I have been living in hell and was locked up in prison for something I had not done.

"Nonetheless, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the staff at HMP Styal for their love and support.

"It was so frustrating for me knowing that the person who has actually carried out these terrible acts is still out there.

"My life has been turned upside down. All I ever wanted to do was to pursue a profession in nursing and to care for my patients.

"I think it is unbelievable that anyone in the medical profession would ever put patients' lives at risk.

"Finally I would like to thank my legal team, Mr Simon Csoka QC and Carl Richmond from Middleweeks Solicitors for their constant hard work in preparing my case. Their support was invaluable.

"I will not be speaking to the media tonight.

"I would ask that you all respect the right of my family and myself to privacy and allow us to get on with our lives.

"I have nothing else to say at this stage."

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