Jane Barton has never directly responded to the claims from at least 120 families that her use of opiates demands an inquiry similar to that into Harold Shipman, the GP in Hyde, Greater Manchester, who was found guilty of killing 15 patients and revealed by a public inquiry to have murdered up to 250 more. He died in prison in 2004.
Barton and her husband Tim own a substantial Georgian house in an affluent enclave of Gosport. The town is otherwise an area of deprivation: many people occupy rundown prefabs erected after the Second World War.
Asked by The Sunday Times in 2002 about his wife’s use of life-shortening opiate drugs, Tim Barton replied: “Instead of trying to find a new Harold Shipman, it might be more constructive to ask why a part-time GP was looking after 48 beds. No one has seen any of the letters she sent saying, ‘You cannot keep sending me this number of patients, I cannot cope with this number’.”
There is no suggestion that Jane Barton is guilty of murder.
The Bartons are believed to have adult children living in Australia and have rarely been seen in Gosport since Jane Barton retired from the NHS in 2010, although she has remained a member of a Royal Navy birdwatching society.