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Is Banbury nurse a killer or victim of coincidence?
THE family of a Banbury nurse convicted of killing two patients have spoken out about how they are trying to free him.
Benjamin Geen was jailed for 30 years in 2006 after being found guilty of two counts of murder and 15 of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
The 29-year-old, who has always maintained his innocence, was found to have injected patients with drugs which stopped them breathing so that he could then enjoyed the excitement of trying to resuscitate them.
An appeal to have his conviction ruled as ‘unsafe’ failed in November at the Appeal Court.
Now lawyers acting for the former Horton Hospital nurse will submit fresh evidence from a statistician to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which has the power to send the case back to the Court of Appeal.
The lawyers say no crimes were actually committed, the victim’s deaths were coincidental, and health bosses were so keen to prevent another Harold Shipman-style situation they looked for blame.
Geen, who was from Orchard Way in Banbury and was a lieutenant in the Territorial Army, has barristers working for him for free.
However, if his case reaches the Court of Appeal for a second time, his fees will be covered by Legal Aid, which is footed by taxpayers’ money.
Geen’s family say he was a victim of an “NHS witch-hunt”.
His sister Hayley, who is training to be a lawyer to help others in her brother’s “situation”, said the family would stop at nothing to get “justice”.
She said: “We won’t stop until we get justice for Ben.
“They said in court that Ben was a thrill-seeker. In reality, he’s nothing like that.
“Everyone who goes into jobs like that does it for the excitement of being able to help – soldiers, firefighters.
“At the moment we're all supporting each other, and Ben, and trying to get through it.”
Geen’s barrister is Mark McDonald, who runs the London Innocence Project, a non-profit legal and criminal justice centre, which uses trainee barristers to take on cases.
On Sunday website about the case was launched and Miss Geen is in the process of setting up a Facebook campaign group in support of her brother.
Meanwhile, the son of one of Geen's victims said he was upset he could end up paying for his father’s attacker to be freed.
Mr Thorburn, of Woodford Halse, between Banbury and Daventry, said his father John Thorburn, 73 – who was one of 15 people injected by Geen – spent six days in a coma after he was attacked and never fully recovered. He died a year ago.
Mr Thorburn said: “My father passed away almost this time last year, having spent the years following the ‘incident’, as the NHS called it, suffering the effects and never truly recovering from them.
“What upsets me the most with regards to yet another appeal by Geen is that as victims of this, we only get to hear about it when we pick up a paper.
“You’d have thought that someone would have thought to mentioned this to us but no, we don’t seem to matter, and our whole family continue to be victims of Geen and what he has done.
“How many more times over the years to come are we going to have to pick up the papers and due to another appeal have this start all over again and again?
“To make matters worse, all these hundreds of thousands of pounds that are being spent on his appeals are funded by Legal Aid, so not only are we having to constantly relive this tragic event, I’m having to pay to help my father’s attacker try and walk free.
“This shouldn’t be happening. Our family would like and should have closure now but we’re not being allowed by Geen or his family. He's guilty and this should stop.”
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