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Manchester Evening News

Death of Glasgow-born journalist at centre of Stepping Hill saline poison probe

By Hamish Mackay

January 6, 2012 | 2 min read

The New Year’s Eve death of Scottish-born former Manchester Evening News journalist Bill Dickson is being examined by police investigating the sabotage of saline drips at Stepping Hill hospital.

Dickson, who was news editor at the paper in the 1970s and 1980s, was 82. His son, Drew, is currently a journalist on the evening newspaper.

Dickson was among a number of patients who had their saline drips contaminated with insulin last summer at Stepping Hill hospital. Three patients died at that time, and police are now investigating whether the poisoning Dickson suffered then was a factor in his death.

Greater Manchester Police has confirmed that a male nurse has been arrested as part of its inquiries.

In a tribute last night, the MEN pointed out: “Mr Dickson oversaw the Manchester Evening News coverage of some of the biggest stories of the time. They included the Yorkshire Ripper murders, the marriage of Charles and Diana, the Falklands War and the Lockerbie bombing.

“He was remembered by former colleagues for his calmness under pressure and dry sense of humour – and for being a stickler for accuracy.”

Born in Glasgow, he took jobs on papers in North Shields and Bridlington before landing a reporting role on the MEN in 1954- the first of two stints on the paper.

Dickson moved to the Daily Mail’s Manchester office two years later - rising through the ranks to become its news editor for the north.

He rejoined the MEN in 1971 after 15 years at the Mail, initially as number two on the newsdesk, and quickly rose to become news editor.

Youngest son Drew, 42 remembered his dad as a “very funny” man. He added: “None of his colleagues ever had a bad word to say about him.”

Dickson retired from journalism in 1991. He is survived by his wife, Jean, 80, and their three children – Craig, 55, Kathy, 53 and Drew and three grandchildren.

Manchester Evening News

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