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UK's worst serial killer was ‘computer bore’

Dr Harold Shipman's geekish devotion to technology was his downfall

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The British doctor convicted yesterday of murdering 15 patients came unstuck via his meticulously kept computer records.

Harold Shipman was a "disciple of computer records" from the moment he became a GP in 1974, today's Times reported. He prided himself on logging patients' files on his trusty PC using MicroDoc software, a program designed for GPs.

But it was this willingness to embrace technology which led to the father-of-four's downfall.

That and the fact that people became suspicious after five patients died inside his Greater Manchester surgery.

"He was very meticulous and had a computer system which he used a lot. He was very proud of what he could do with patients' notes in terms of auditing and things," said one medical colleague.

"I suppose he was a bit of a computer bore."

But what Shipman didn't realise was that he left a shadow on the hard drive every time he put new patient information onto the software. This oversight enabled detectives to find all kind of clues when they confiscated the computer records, despite Shipman's best attempts to delete them.

Police discovered the patients' files had been tampered with and questioned Shipman. It was during this interview that he became distressed and finally collapsed.

The 54-year-old was yesterday labelled Britain's worst serial killer after being found guilty at Preston Crown Court of murdering 15 female patients with lethal injections of heroin.

Shipman, who got a sexual "buzz" out of being present at the time of death, is believed to have killed a total of 150 women. ®

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