Shipman medical couch withdrawn from sale on eBay

Harold Shipman
Harold Shipman

A medical examination couch advertised as being used by serial killer Dr Harold Shipman at a Todmorden surgery, has been pulled from auction site eBay where it was listed for sale.

The ghoulish item was being sold by a former nurse who bought it from the same hospital where Shipman started out as a GP.

The couch, which was listed over the weekend with a starting price of £10,000, had 70 people following it and two undisclosed offers had been made since being posted on the acution site.

But, once eBay was alerted, they took the item down.

A spokesman said: “eBay does not allow the sale of any item that profits from tragedy.”

By Saturday afternoon the couch was no longer visible on the site.

Marjorie Chakravarti, 72, bought the couch in 1992 for about £20, whilst she was working as a senior sister at the Abraham Ormerod Day Hospital in Todmorden, West Yorks.

She has since kept it in a garden shed for years before deciding to sell it on eBay in a decluttering exercise.

Speaking last week, Marjorie, of Huddersfield, said: “I’m not sure how much it will go for, it all depends in view of its history, what people think about Shipman and what they use it for.”

Marjorie expained that to buy one of these couches new would cost around £770.

She said: “I never met him, (Shipman), he was part of the group’s practice at that time and Dr Michael Grieve was the senior partner.”

When asked if Shipman used the couch, she said: “I would certainly think so, he was one of the group practice in Todmorden and each day a different GP had to take part in a rota to assess the patients were receiving appropriate medication.

“Undoubtedly during that time Dr Shipman would have visited and used the facilities, thats what they were there for.”

Marjorie admitted she was “a little bit apprehensive” the sale might attract the ghoulish.

The description on the eBay listing, before it was was pulled, said: “In use for many years Abraham Ormerod Day Hospital, Todmorder, which was originally opened in 1938.

“In 1983 it was re-opened as day hopsital for elderly, physical and psychiatrically ill patients within the area.

“During the time medical input was covered by local GP Practice including at one time Dr Harold Shipman.

“In view of the history of this item possible attention hopefully would be from museums or people with interest in items with unusual histories. Starting price £10,000.”

A relative of one of Shipman’s victims had criticises the sale calling it “disgraceful”.

Mass murderer Shipman was investigated by police in 1998 and given 15 life sentences for murder but his death toll according to police may have been as high as 215 patients.

There was shock at how a seemingly outwardly respectable GP responsible for more than 3,000 patients could kill mainly elderly patients so casually.

He hanged himself in 2004 at Wakefield high security jail in West Yorkshire.

Marjorie would not comment on the sale on Sunday.