Man pleads not guilty to Sydney nursing home blaze

A CROSS hung from Roger Kingsley Dean's neck as he pleaded not guilty on Friday to the murder of 11 elderly residents who died following a fire in their Sydney nursing home last year.

Standing in the dock of the NSW Supreme Court, Dean also pleaded not guilty to eight counts of recklessly causing grievous bodily harm to elderly patients.

Following his arrest in November last year, Dean offered to plead guilty to manslaughter but the DPP rejected his submission.

Police originally charged him with 10 counts of murder but on Friday an 11th count, relating to the death of Neeljte Valkay, brought the total number of charges to 19.

The month of May was set down for a trial next year.

Dean was remanded in custody.

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