A former Canadian nurse has been jailed for life for killing eight elderly patients in Ontario care homes.

Elizabeth Wettlaufer's sentencing came after she pleaded guilty to killing five women and three men in two nursing homes between 2007 and 2014 in early June. She also admitted to trying to kill six other patients in her care.

"She left a trail of broken lives in her wake. She tarnished her profession. She exposed the weaknesses in care at the long-term care facilities where she worked," Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas said on Monday, 26 June, before sentencing her.

Justice Thomas referred to Wettlaufer as a "predator", who killed those she was supposed to protect and care for during her time as a nurse. She has been given a jail term with no chance of parole for 25 years, the National Post reported.

After the sentencing, the 50-year-old told the court filled with many of the victims' relatives that she was extremely sorry for what she did. "I caused tremendous pain and suffering and death. Sorry is much too small a word. I am extremely sorry."

Some of the relatives and friends of the victims were also present outside the courthouse to witness the historic sentencing of Wettlaufer.

The relatives were told to take their time when reading their victim impact statements, the BBC reported.

"I think she should spend the rest of her life in a small box contemplating what she's done," said Laura Jackson, a friend of Maurice Granat, one of the victims.

Arpad Horvath, whose father was a victim of Wettlaufer, said the former nurse's statement in court only made him angry.

"An apology like that is just a waste of time, paper and air," he added.

Prosecutors have said that Wettlaufer had overdosed her patients after feeling an "urge to kill". They said the former nurse had claimed that those feelings would only go away when she overdosed her victims. She confirmed she was not intoxicated by drugs or alcohol during the incidents, which spanned almost seven years.

An investigation into the nursing home deaths was started in September 2016 after Toronto police were alerted to disturbing information Wettlaufer had given to a psychiatric hospital. She was arrested and formally charged in October 2016.

The incidents took place in three Ontario long-term care facilities where Wettlaufer worked as a registered nurse and at a private home. Many of the victims had dementia and ranged in age from 75 to 96.