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Former German nurse convicted of murdering 85 patients

A former German nurse has been found guilty of the murders of 85 people and sentenced to life in prison.

The former nurse, 42-year-old Niels Hoegel, was sentenced in an Oldenburg courtroom by judge Sebastian Buehrmann who noted the “particular seriousness of the crimes” while handing down his verdict.

Hoegel’s method of murder was to give patients lethal drugs that with induce a cardiac arrest at which point he would play the hero by appearing to desperately try and revive them, with him failing to do so many times. His victims ages ranged between the 34 and 96.

Hoegel worked at an Oldenbug hospital in Germany’s north-west between 1999 and 2002 and another nearby hospital in Delmenhorst from 2003 to 2005. His killings are reported to have taken place between 2000 and 2005.

Hoegel was already serving a life sentence after a 2015 conviction for two murders and two attempted murders. While there are no consecutive sentences in German law, Hoegel was guaranteed that he has no chance of ever being released from prison before he dies.

Over the course of the 7-month trial, Hoegel admitted his responsibility for 43 of the deaths but either disputed or said he could not remember the others. He gave testimony saying he had a “protected” childhood and that “I am really sorry”.

In his closing statement to the court, Hoegel appeared to show remorse said he wanted to “sincerely apologize” to those he had hurt.