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Documentary on Grantham killer breaks new ground

An ITV documentary on serial killer Beverley Allitt revealed new evidence when it was broadcast on Wednesday night.

‘Trevor McDonald and the Killer Nurse’ featured the harrowing story of the 22-year-old nurse Beverley Allitt, who was convicted 25 years ago for the murder of four children in her care, the attempted murder of three more and grievous bodily harm to a further six.

Allitt received 13 life sentences and has served virtually all her time in a secure hospital.

In the programme, the 79-year-old broadcaster visited Grantham where police were concerned about a series of collapses, some fatal, involving children at the hospital.

Sir Trevor met retired Superintendent Stuart Clifton who correctly assessed despite a hospital report saying otherwise, that ‘something sinister’ was going on.

He also met with surviving victims, including Kayley Desmond, who was just 15 months old at the time.

In a raft of reviews about the programme, the Daily Telegraph called it impressive Sir Trevor uncovered a letter which Allitt admitted, “for the first time ever, to committing all 13 offences."

Reviewer Gerard O’Donovan added: “It was quite a coup for what otherwise might have been a rather ordinary documentary about an extraordinary evil woman.”

Carol Midgely of the Times commented: “The police tapes of Beverley Allitt’s interviews, in which we heard the little-girl squeak of her voice professing butter-wouldn’t-melt indignation at being accused, were mesmerising. “Things went a bit melodramatic at the end with violin strings and Allitt’s doll-like voice rendered in echo. But it was an important and enlightening documentary that suggested she may still be working the system a quarter of a century on.”

Christopher Stevens of the Daily Mail said: “The most telling evidence was captured in her own words, recorded on police tapes during interrogation. These tapes increased our understanding of her immeasurably — it is perplexing that they have been withheld for more than 27 years. We need to see and hear these monsters, to grasp what they have done. This documentary, though it skated over too many details, went some way to redressing the balance.”

The documentary can viewed online at the ITV Hub.

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