Bosses at Basildon and Thurrock Hospitals NHS Trust faced unlimited fines this week 13 years ago after pleading guilty to failing to safeguard patients against the deadly legionnella bacteria.
The prosecution came just eight months after the YA exclusively revealed how two patients had contracted Legionnaires Disease at Basildon hospital in 2002, one of whom died.
Defence counsel, David Wood said there was no question that the trust was cutting corners for profit.
Elsewhere in the world this week, on February 5, 2004, a massive rescue operation was launched after 23 people became trapped by rising tides at Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, while collecting cockles. On February 6, a woman suicide bomber was believed to have blown up a train in the Moscow metro during rush hour, killing at least 40 people and injuring more than 100. Suspicion immediately fell on Chechen rebels, ’Black Widows’ whose husbands had been killed by Russian troops in the Chechen war. On February 8, the UN’s former chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix accused British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George bush of exaggerating intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s arsenal in the lead up to war. On February 9, Kerry Catona was crowned queen of the jungle in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
In the pop charts, LMC vs U2 was the top selling single with Take Me To The Clouds Above while the number 1 album was Call Off The Search by Katie Melua.
The number 1 film at the UK box office for this week in 2004 was School of Rock starring Jack Black.