The criminal case against a dedicated children’s nurse at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, was today thrown out after key witnesses admitted under cross-examination that the crucial computer evidence in the case was unreliable. The defendant was accused of fraud by abuse of position.
The prosecution case against Philippa Brown, as reported in the Evening Standard, was that she had accessed the secure drugs storage, known as Omnicell cabinets, and withdrawn a variety of drugs for her own use.
Under cross-examination from Tom Wainwright of Garden Court Chambers, Crown witnesses were taken to a series of errors in the reports produced by the Omnicell cabinets around the hospital for which they could offer no explanation. Ultimately, the technical officer who produced the reports accepted that he could not vouchsafe the accuracy of the reports and that there must be a problem with these devices, which are used in hospitals throughout the UK and have been relied on as the basis for numerous prosecutions and disciplinary proceedings previously.
In light of the evidence, the trial judge found that it was not safe for the case to continue and directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict.