Rachel Baker: accused care home manager 'misused patients' drugs'
Rachel Baker, a former care home boss accused of murdering elderly residents, has admitted that her misuse of patient's drugs affected her "clarity of thought".
Published: 7:30AM GMT 19 Mar 2010
Bristol Crown Court previously heard Baker has admitted taking medication from residents at Parkfields Residential Care Home, in Butleigh, Somerset.
Being cross-examined by David Fisher today, Baker admitted the vast levels of drugs she was taking had a detrimental effect on her role as care home manager.
Mr Fisher said: "It must have affected your clarity of thought."
Baker replied: "Only when I was on the Prozac as well."
Mr Fisher went on: "Surely taking those drugs as a drug addict must have affected the clarity of your thought. It's the reason you were behaving so out of character."
Baker said: "Yes."
Mr Fisher pressed: "So it was affecting your clarity of thought."
Baker replied: "Yes."
Mr Fisher said if Baker had not been a drug addict, she would not have lied to doctors, and she agreed.
He went on: "It was affecting your judgment, because you were doing things you would not have dreamt of doing had you not been a drug addict."
Baker replied: "Some things."
Mr Fisher said: "It must have affected your ability to act as a manager of Parkfields."
Baker said: "I maintained my job the best I could."
Mr Fisher added: "And likewise it must have affected your ability to act as a nurse."
Baker responded: "I tried to make sure it didn't."
Baker, of Boundary Way, Glastonbury, Somerset, denies two counts of murder.
She also denies alternative counts of attempted murder and manslaughter relating to Mrs Hay, and a count of manslaughter relating to Mrs Cox.
She earlier admitted 10 counts of possessing class A and C drugs, and one count of perverting the course of justice.
Opening the case in January prosecutor Mr Fisher told the court: "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."
Mr Fisher said care assistant Kathy Slade, who worked with Baker, overheard her boss ask Mrs Hay if she wanted to "end it all" two days before she died.