A Norfolk survivor of the contaminated blood scandal said the government has "blood on its hands" following the end of a four-and-a-half year inquiry.

More than 30 people sat in the viewing room in Aldwych House, west London, to watch a live feed of the inquiry on Friday.

Many of them were infected with HIV, hepatitis C, or a combination of both as a result of contaminated blood transfusions between the 1970s and 1990s.

Some of them were haemophiliacs and others received blood transfusions after accidents or while giving birth.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Michelle Tolley at Aldwych House in London, after attending the Infected Blood inquiryMichelle Tolley at Aldwych House in London, after attending the Infected Blood inquiry (Image: PA)


Michelle Tolley, 57, of Sparham, near Dereham, was infected with hep C when she was 22 after receiving a blood transfusion following the birth of her son.

The grandmother received two blood transfusions between 1987 and 1991 but did not learn of her Hepatitis diagnosis until 2015 - and has become a staunch campaigner for victims of the scandal ever since.

Mrs Tolley is living with cirrhosis and runs a support group on Facebook called Contaminated Whole Blood UK, which now has 500 members.

She said: "At the age of 22 I was given a death sentence for committing no crimes.

"I thought I was going to die. I didn't understand hepatitis. I went through stages of feeling dirty. I became withdrawn. I'm quite a bubbly person but I didn't even want to speak to my family.

"I can remember sitting in the bath one night and scrubbing my skin thinking: 'Oh my god I've got this disgusting thing in me.'

"I don't want anyone to go through what I went through at the beginning, with just closing my eyes and seeing a coffin with my name on it."

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Ms Tolley said she wants a "sincere apology" from the government and for it to compensate infected and affected people.

Fakenham & Wells Times: Michelle TolleyMichelle Tolley

She added: "I do not want them to start knocking off their recommendations like they've done with Windrush, Hillsborough, et cetera. They did this. The fault is in their hands, the blood is on the Government's hands historically or not. This has gone through four decades and 500 people at least have died during this inquiry.

"Every time I go for a liver scan, which is twice a year, you've got that mindset of: is the cancer there yet? Will I see Christmas? Our daughter got married in October and I cried when she walked down the aisle, as all bride's mums do but... I cried because I was there to see it."

Ms Tolley teared up and added: "We're being murdered. It's like mass murder. It must never happen again."