A former nurse admits to murdering 11 seniors in a 2011 nursing home fire, pleading guilty to several counts of murder and causing grievous bodily harm.
Roger Dean, 37, was a nurse at the Quakers Hill Nursing Home in Sydney when the November 2011 fire broke out. At the time of the blaze, 80 seniors were inside the Quakers Hill Nursing Home, and 11 perished in the fire.
Dean, the nurse who admits to setting the deadly blaze, was “quiet” in court as he pled guilty — sparing grieving family members a long trial and rehash of the horrible events that killed 11 residents.
Elly Valkay’s mother Neeltje Valkay died in the fire, and Valkay says the nurse’s plea to murdering 11 residents came as some small measure of comfort years later — but that the loss of her mom still causes Valkay pain daily:
“It wasn’t happiness of course, I still miss my mother very much and the rest of our family miss her greatly, especially her grandchildren … It was, I think, joy in my heart to see that my mother would say ‘yes justice is going to be done and we’re going to see it.’ ”
Valkay continued, explaining that the nursing home fire still haunts her:
“I saw her six days a week. I still do the wrong left hand turn to go home and go past the nursing home. There has been upheaval in our family because we miss her so much. There has been nights of no sleep … I still have nightmares.”
Neale Becke’s mom Doris Becke was 96 when she was killed in the nursing home fire, and as the nurse pled guilty to charges of murder, he says:
“My mum … was 96, she still had all of her marbles and everything … Her great-grandchildren won’t see her, they won’t know her … And I think that’s really the bad part of the whole thing because she loved her kids and she had heaps of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren … It’s just a shame now she’s gone and we can’t do anything about that, but at least we’re getting justice.”
In addition to the charges of murdering 11 seniors, the former nurse has also admitted to stealing painkillers.