(BBC) – A Canadian nurse who used insulin to kill eight elderly patients in Ontario care homes has been sentenced to life in prison, local media report.
Elizabeth Wettlaufer, 49, pleaded guilty earlier this month to killing five women and three men in two nursing homes between 2007 and 2014.
Wettlaufer was described by the judge on Monday as a “shadow of death” that passed over her victims, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp (CBC) reported.
She was told she may never be released.
“I caused tremendous pain and suffering and death,” Wettlaufer said after receiving her sentence, adding: “Sorry is much too small a word. I am extremely sorry.”
Ontario Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas said Wettlaufer was a “predator” who took the lives of those she was supposed to protect and care for during her time as a nurse, CBC reports.
Many of the victims’ relatives were present in the courthouse for Wettlaufer’s sentencing and were told by the judge to take their time when reading their victim impact statements.
Friends of some of the victims also gathered outside the courthouse in Woodstock, Ontario, on Monday to express their hurt and anger.
“I think she should spend the rest of her life in a small box contemplating what she’s done,” said Laura Jackson, a friend of Maurice Granat, one of the victims.
Arpad Horvath, whose father was also killed by Wettlauffer while in her care, said the former nurse’s statement in court only made him angry.
“An apology like that is just a waste of time, paper and air,” he said.
Police launched an investigation into the nursing home deaths in September.
Wettlaufer resigned from the College of Nurses of Ontario a day after that, and was arrested in October.
In January, police brought six additional charges – four counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault – against Wettlaufer for other incidents that took place in care homes between 2007-16.