Couple at centre of Somerset care home murder investigation to stand trial

The nurse at the centre of the Butleigh care home murder enquiry has appeared in court, charged with murdering three elderly residents at the care home she ran with her husband.

Rachel Baker, who ran Parkfields Residential Care Home appeared at Bristol Crown Court this morning for a directions hearing.

She is alleged to have killed 79-year-old Marion Alder, Lucy Cox, 97, and 85-year-old Francis Hay between 2006 and 2007.

She also faces 11 counts of possession of controlled Class A and C drugs.

She and her husband, Leigh Baker, 50, a chef who was in the dock alongside her, are also both charged with acts tending and intending to pervert the course of public justice.
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Both have denied the charges and will face a trial.

The couple spoke only to confirm their names.

Mr Justice Royce ordered the prosecution to serve a case summary to the defence counsel by June 5.

A further directions hearing has been set for June 19, most likely at Bristol Crown Court.

Defence counsel for Mrs Baker suggests that a trial would not sit until early 2010.