Sydney: Roger Dean, a registered nurse in Sydney Australia, has pleaded guilty to murdering 11 elderly people by setting on the nursing home where he worked. The Dispatch News Desk (DND) reported.
Dean also pleaded guilty to causing grievous bodily harm to another eight nursing home residents injured by the fire in 2011. He had appeared on television minutes after the blaze and described his supposed efforts to help rescue trapped people at the nursing home in Quakers Hill, a suburb of Sydney. He made his pleas in North South Wales state Supreme Court on Monday, with his sentencing hearing beginning on Thursday. He faces potential life imprisonment.
Police questioned him at the home hours before the blaze took place concerning theft allegation, He already also pleaded guilty to stealing prescription drugs from the home. Three residents perished during the fire that he started, while eight others died later from their injuries. The court has previously heard Dean started the blaze at two separate points in the building, which was badly damaged.
At the time Dean had been described as a friendly but quiet man who kept to himself, initially hailed a hero after fronting media outside the home as firefighters battled to contain the flames. He told reporters then that he “just quickly did what I could to get everyone out”.
“The smoke is just overwhelming but, you know, we got a lot of people out, so that’s the main thing,” he said in 2011. Elly Valkay, whose 90-year-old mother Neeltje Valkay was killed in the fire, said the guilty plea was the best outcome they could hope for.
“My perfect scenario was that he would stand up in court and say guilty to all charges. My prayers were answered,” she told reporters, adding that she still had nightmares over the way her mother died. “There has been upheaval in our family because we miss her so much. There has been nights of no sleep … I still have nightmares.”