Thursday, November 24, 2011

Quakers Hill nurse charged over 8 deaths, Australia - 24th Nov 2011

He was employed to care for the elderly residents of a western Sydney nursing home. Instead, the Quakers Hill nurse has been charged with murdering eight of them.

Roger Dean, 35, who had initially been charged with four counts of murder, on Thursday faced four additional murder charges following the deaths of nine people from the fire.

The registered nurse waived his right to be present at Sydney's Central Local Court on Thursday, but lawyers there on his behalf said he would appear by video link on February 16.

Magistrate John Favretto acknowledged the enormity of the task ahead and extended the normal brief period from six weeks to 10 weeks, to allow police to comb through the forensic and medical evidence.

Detective Chief Inspector Pamela Young from the homicide squad said the case was unprecedented.

"It is so enormous and onerous a task ... that I really can't quantify it," she told journalists outside the court.

Dean is said to have worked at the site of the fatal blaze for a short time before fire devastated the Hambledon Road facility.

Two fires are believed to have broken out in separate wings of the Quakers Hill nursing home in the early hours of Friday morning.

Dean has been charged with the murder of two unnamed residents and Alma Smith, 73, who all died at the scene of the fire. Read More