A nurse has appeared in court in England accused of the murder of three people.
Victorino Chua, 48, spoke only to confirm his name, age and address for the three minute hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court.
He was charged following a lengthy investigation by police at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.
Chua also faces 22 counts of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, seven charges of attempting to administer poison and one count of causing poison to be administered with intent.
He was remanded into custody to appear at Manchester Crown Court next Tuesday.
Diminutive Chua, a Filipino, wearing a Gap camouflage coloured hoodie, was dwarfed by the prison officer flanking him in the dock.
He replied “Yes Mam” to the clerk who told him he faces a total of 34 charges, including the murders of Tracey Arden, 44, Arnold Lancaster, 71 and Derek Weaver, 83.
As the charges are so serious, the case, and any bail application, can only be dealt with at the Crown Court, the defendant was told.
Ben Southam, prosecuting, told the court: “Mr Chua faces 34 allegations. I would ask that the case be sent to the Crown Court for a bail and preliminary hearing next week, on Tuesday.
“Mr Chua is not able to apply for bail here given the nature of the allegations.
“Bail will, in any event, be opposed by the Crown.”
Mike McKeown, defending Chua, asked the court that the defendant is produced in person, rather than appearing by video-link, at the hearing next week.
Kevin Phillips, chair of the bench, told Chua: “We will remand you into custody and send to Crown Court for a bail and preliminary hearing.”
Chua replied: “Yes sir. Thank you sir,” before being handcuffed and led from the dock back to the cells.