Trial of nurse charged in hospital death begins in Sydney

SYDNEY — The trial of one of two former nurses charged in relation to the death of a patient on the grounds of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital nearly two years ago started Wednesday.

It was an emotional day in court for the family of 79-year-old Colin MacDonald. He was the patient whose body was found outside the hospital in the early morning of Feb. 23, 2018.

Two former nurses were charged with forgery in the case – including 42-year-old Tammy Carrigan-Warner – who appeared in Sydney Provincial Court on Wednesday for the first day of her trial.

The day opened with court being shown surveillance video from outside the hospital on the night MacDonald was found.

The Crown called three witnesses — two nurses and a nursing student — all of whom were working on the same unit on the night in question with the two people facing charges.

Two of them testified they went out for a cigarette break behind the hospital at about 4 a.m. when they noticed something on a bridge leading to a rear parking lot.

They told the court that they went inside and contacted security.

Another witness described “chaos” erupting on the floor once it was discovered it was a person outside.

Court was told that patients were then checked and it was noted one was missing.

Upon cross-examination by defence lawyer Joel Pink, one of the witnesses told court the alarms on the two fire exit doors on the unit were not working that night.

The two facing charges are accused of forging patient documents and both have been fired from their jobs.

The trial for Carrigan-Warner resumes next Wednesday when more witnesses are expected to take the stand.