Rachel Baker
© Press Association
Rachel Baker
A former care home manager who stole drugs from elderly residents to feed her addiction was today found guilty of killing one of them.

Registered nurse Rachel Baker, 44, gave Lucy Cox, 97, lethal doses of medication while she herself was abusing controlled drugs she stole from Parkfields Residential Care Home, in Butleigh, Somerset.

Baker, of Boundary Way, Glastonbury, was convicted of the manslaughter of Mrs Cox but acquitted by a jury at Bristol Crown Court of the manslaughter of another resident, Frances Hay, 85.

She had admitted 10 counts of possessing class A and C drugs, and one of perverting the course of justice.

But she denied killing the two women.

She was acquitted yesterday of charges that she murdered both of them.

Opening the case in January, prosecutor David Fisher said: ''Rachel Baker was, by her own admission, regularly taking prescribed drugs, which must have had a substantial effect on her character and conduct.

''She, for a variety of bizarre and perverted reasons, may have had a desire to control the terminal destiny of some of her residents.''

Care assistant Kathy Slade, who worked with Baker, gave evidence, saying she overheard her boss ask Mrs Hay if she wanted to ''end it all'' two days before she died.

In her evidence, Baker blamed the ''stress, pain and emotional turmoil'' of running the home for her decision to steal the medication.

She also claimed she was left feeling ''useless'' after the death of one of the home's residents, Fred Green.

But she denied that her ''diverting'' of residents' drugs ever affected their care.

Baker sobbed as the guilty verdict was announced.

Trial judge Mr Justice Royce told her she was facing jail.

"A custodial sentence is inevitable given the circumstances, a combination of drugs offences and the conviction for manslaughter," the judge said.

Baker was remanded in custody for sentencing on a date to be fixed.

The jury retired to consider its verdicts on March 26 and resumed its deliberations on Wednesday after a six-day break over Easter.

Baker was cleared unanimously of murdering both women and an attempted murder charge involving Mrs Hay yesterday after the judge told the jury of seven women and five men he would accept majority verdicts.

The jury had been deliberating for a total of 34 hours before reaching its final verdicts today.

After the conviction, Detective Superintendent Trevor Simpson said the three-year investigation had not been about the generic care offered to residents.

He said he was satisfied that that was of a "high standard" and noted how passionate witnesses were about their jobs.

The trial was about the criminal actions of just one person - Baker, he said.

He added in a statement: "Mrs Baker deliberately and dishonestly lied to, manipulated and abused the trust of others, including fellow healthcare professionals, carers and - most disturbing - the families of those residents in her care.

"All this deceit was for one selfish goal, to obtain the controlled drugs she wanted for her own addiction."