By Dan Cox
Former New South Wales nursing home employee Garry Steven Davis has been sentenced to 40 years in jail for murdering two residents and attempting to murder a third.
In September, the 29-year-old was found guilty of injecting residents with insulin at the SummitCare nursing home in Wallsend over a two-day period in October, 2013.
Residents Gwen Fowler, 83, and Ryan Kelly, 80, died as a result of the injections, while Audrey Manuel, 91, recovered and has since died from unrelated causes.
The crown argued none of the victims required insulin and all three had been in relatively good health before being injected.
In sentencing Davis to 40 years in jail with a minimum of 30 years until he is eligible for parole, Supreme Court Justice Robert Hulme said “he acted with extreme callousness”.
“It is as if he thought their lives were worthless,” Justice Hulme said.
“It was a gross violation of his position of trust.
“Why he chose these residents is a mystery … there is no explanation as to why he did it.”
Justice Hulme gave the victims’ families his sincerest sympathies.
With time already served, Davis will be eligible for parole in December 2044.
Davis is a cold and calculated killer: prosecutor
During sentencing submissions yesterday, Davis’ barrister Chris Watson said his client denies the offences.
He said that is why he has not shown any remorse or contrition, stressing 19 other people could have given the residents the lethal doses.
Mr Watson also argued the offences were mid-range in terms of objective seriousness, as the victims were elderly and vulnerable due to their health.
But crown prosecutor Lee Car said Davis was a cold and calculated killer.
Davis’s solicitor Mark Ramsland said there would be an appeal.
“He says he’s not guilty, he didn’t commit the offences,” he said.
“It’s a terrible crime, but he says he didn’t do it.”
Family calls for nursing home reform
Ms Fowler’s son-in-law Terry Russ said the family was relieved the ordeal was over.
“We thank the police for their investigation and their diligence, and the courts for its determination,” he said.
“And we just want a bit of peace and quiet. We think he’s in the right place, and for the right amount of time.”
Mr Russ said the industry needed urgent reform.
“Nursing homes need to be a lot more diligent in their processes, who they employ, to protect everybody in the nursing system,” he said.
“There are a lot of decent people that work in the nursing home system, but there is a lot of emphasis on the bottom line for nursing home management.”
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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