Nurse convicted of disabled husband’s murder loses second bid to clear her name
- Credit: Archant
A nurse found guilty of murdering her disabled husband by injecting him with insulin has lost a second legal fight to clear her name.
Deborah Winzar, 56, was jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court in 2000 after being convicted of the murder of 34-year-old Dominic McCarthy, who died in 1997. Her case was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.
Lawyers representing Winzar argued at a hearing in November that fresh medical evidence undermined the prosecution’s case against her and therefore rendered her conviction unsafe.
But, in a ruling on Friday, senior judges dismissed her bid to overturn her conviction, saying the expert evidence they heard did not provide any basis for allowing the appeal.
Mr McCarthy, who was paralysed in a motorcycle accident in 1984, was found unconscious in his bed at the couple’s home in Stonely, near Kimbolton, on January 31, 1997. He lapsed into a coma and died in Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon on February 9.
Tests found Mr McCarthy had a very high insulin level and the prosecution case at trial was his wife had the opportunity to administer it and the skills to inject it.
Winzar, who has served her 15-year minimum term and been released from prison, denied any wrongdoing and maintained he must have died of natural causes, but was found guilty by a jury of murder.
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A previous challenge to her conviction was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in December 2002 and she applied to the CCRC in June 2005.
Winzar’s lawyers argued that new evidence from medical experts undermined the case put forward against her at her trial in relation to the “inappropriately high” insulin levels, and established a potential natural cause for the hypoglycaemia which led to Mr McCarthy’s death.
But, rejecting the appeal, Lady Justice Macur said: “In summary, we do not see how the ‘fresh’ evidence, so called, can be said to dilute the medical case against the appellant, or transform its perspective. “The new evidence does not provide any ground for allowing the appeal.”