Canada nurse gets life sentence for killing eight seniors

FILE PHOTO: Elizabeth Wettlaufer, a 49-year old nurse appeared before a judge in the courthouse in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Power/File Photo

(Reuters) - A Canadian nurse who used insulin to kill eight elderly patients in long-term care facilities has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years, the provincial justice department said on Monday.

Elizabeth Wettlaufer pleaded guilty this month to killing five women and three men in the Ontario towns of Woodstock and London between 2007 and 2014. The victims ranged in age from 75 to 96.

Wettlaufer, who was 49 when she was charged last year, admitted in court this month in Woodstock, about 140 km (87 miles) west of Toronto, that she fatally injected the victims with insulin for no medical reasons.

A spokeswoman for Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General said in an email Wettlaufer had been handed eight life sentences along with two assault and four attempted murder sentences of seven and 10 years each, respectively.

All sentences are to be served concurrently, according to the spokeswoman

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp reported that Wettlaufer had apologized in court to the victims’ families on Monday, although her motive remains unclear.

Homicide cases with multiple victims are uncommon in Canada. The Wettlaufer case is the largest in Ontario province since 2006, when five men were charged with murdering eight members of a biker gang. They were convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Reporting by Ethan Lou in Calgary, Alberta; Editing by Tom Brown and Sandra Maler