Mishcon’s Harris instructs Matrix’s Tomlinson as poison probe nurse sues

A nurse who was arrested and then cleared of poisoning hospital patients has turned to Mishcon de Reya partner Charlotte Harris as she announces plans to sue Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

Rebecca Leighton is suing the police after officers allegedly leaked her name to the press and made her Facebook page public.

She spent six weeks in jail after being charged during an investigation in 2011 over the deaths of several patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, however prosecutors later dropped the charges due to lack of evidence.

Mishcon de Reya partner Harris is representing Leighton, instructing Matrix Chambers’ Hugh Tomlinson QC. The pair have become synonymous with privacy cases and the Leveson saga, with both sitting on the board of directors for lobbying organisation Hacked Off.

In a statement Mishcon said: “Rebecca has serious concerns about the way the police treated her personal and private information on and after her arrest.  We have repeatedly put these questions to the police, which they have refused to answer. 

“Only now that she has taken them to court have the police admitted that they were negligent and/or in breach of their duty of care to Rebecca by failing to close her Facebook account.  We look forward to the police providing a full and frank account at trial, if not before.”

At the time of writing it was not clear who was advising the GMP.