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Murderer caught out by computer



Antony Savvas

The forensic computing lab at Greater Manchester Police played a vital role in securing the conviction of killer GP Harold...

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Antony Savvas

The forensic computing lab at Greater Manchester Police played a vital role in securing the conviction of killer GP Harold Shipman this week.

Shipman, who murdered 15 patients, was found by the lab to have retrospectively changed his computer medical records to falsely show that his victims had a history of heart problems, so that he could cover up the true cause of death - morphine overdose.

However, the laboratory discovered that the false records' logging times did not match the computer's time clock, something Shipman either did not think about or did not have the skills to change.

Forensic computer consultant Frank Taylor said, "While it would have been relatively straightforward for Greater Manchester Police to discover the contradiction in date stamps, they should be applauded for checking them in the first place."

This was first published in February 2000

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