German nurse convicted of feeding colleagues drugged cookies | News | DW | 26.05.2020
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German nurse convicted of feeding colleagues drugged cookies

A former nurse at a German hospital has been convicted for poisoning her colleagues with homemade cookies laced with tranquilizer. One of the cases was life-threatening.

A 54-year-old former German nurse was convicted Tuesday by a regional court in the central German city of Giessen of causing dangerous bodily harm for poisoning her colleagues at a hospital.  She was sentenced to three years in prison. 

According to prosecutors, on three occasions — twice in September 2017 and once in March 2019 — the woman put out drugged cookies and coffee in a kitchenette for her colleagues at the Kerckhoff Clinic in the town of Bad Nauheim in the central state of Hesse.

Read more: Germany: Nurse accused of poisoning babies with morphine

The cookies and coffee were laced with the anti-anxiety drug Oxazepam. Several of her colleagues reported feeling dizzy, seeing double and fainting after eating the cookies.  

As one of the victims had a life-threatening reaction to the drugs, prosecutors initially charged the woman with one case of attempted murder. However, the court found there had been no intent to kill, and pursued a lesser charge of bodily harm. 

Drug traces found in blender

Police began to focus on the nurse after analyzing the clinic's duty roster, and noticing she had been on duty when each of the incidents occurred, according to the local newspaper, Wetterauer Zeitung. 

During a search of her residence, police said they found empty packages of the anti-anxiety medication that came from the clinic, and traces of the substances in a mixer.

Read more: Sandwich poisoner handed life sentence

The woman has been detained awaiting trial since September 2019, and she denies having poisoned her colleagues. 

The witnesses in the case, most of whom were poisoned, said she had always been a "reliable" colleague with a "high level of expertise," according to the Wetterauer Zeitung. 

Despite the evidence against her, prosecutors have not stated what could have motivated the woman to poison her colleagues. 

wmr/rc (dpa, AP)

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