May 09, 2023
Lucy Letby, a registered nurse based in Chester, United Kingdom, is accused of killing seven babies in her care and injuring an additional ten, between June 2015 and June 2016. In 2017, an investigation into the case was launched and she was arrested in both 2018 and 2019.
The volume of infant mortality rates between June 2015 – June 2016 at the neonatal intensive care unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, England, where Letby worked, was alarmingly high, at an increase of approximately 10%.
In 2018, Letby was arrested by police on suspicion of eight counts of suspected murder as well as six counts of attempted murder, but was released on bail. In 2019 she was arrested again, this time with additional charges, including suspicion of eight murders and nine attempted murders. She was released on bail for the second time following her arrest.
Letby was finally arrested again in November 2020 and charged with eight counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder. She is currently on trial at Manchester Crown Court and has pleaded not guilty to the charges - seven counts of murder (five boys and two girls) and fifteen counts of attempted murder pertaining to ten babies, brought against her in a trial that has been ongoing for several months, beginning in October 2022.
A yellow Post-It Note found during a police search of the suspects home, confirmed to be written by Lucy Letby was shown and read out before the court:
“There are no words. I am an awful person. I pay every day for that. No hope. I can't breathe. I can't focus. I'll never have children or marry. I'll never know what it's like to have a family. Kill myself right now. Overwhelming fear. I haven't done anything wrong. Police investigation. Forget. Slander discrimination victimisation. Despair, panic, fear, lost, HATE. Hate myself so much. All getting too much everything taking over my life. I feel very alone and scared. What does the future hold. How can I get through it. How will things ever be like they were. They won't. I don't deserve to live. I DID THIS WHY ME. I killed them on purpose because I'm not good enough to care for them, and I am horrible and evil person. I don't deserve mum and dad. The world is better off without me. I AM EVIL I DID THIS.”
Letby told the court that after standing accused of the murder and attempted murder of the babies in her care: “Everything about me and about my life, and the hopes I had for the future, everything is just gone.”
Another note recovered from the home read: “I haven’t done anything wrong, and they have no evidence so why have I had to hide away?”
Letby has pleaded not guilty to the crimes and said that she never intended to harm any child, and if she did it was out of incompetence.
"I only ever did my best to care for them." "That's completely against everything that being a nurse is. I am there to care not to harm."
Nick Johnson KC, for the prosecution, argued that the deaths were not "naturally occurring" and accused Letby of deliberately interfering with their care to harm and kill them.
Co-workers of Letby previously had concerns regarding Letby's role at the clinic. A former lead clinician, Dr. John Gibbs, along with Dr. Stephen Brearey, expressed concern regarding the volume of collapses and deaths within the neonatal unit while Letby was on duty.
Letby was questioned in court as to why she looked up the parents of a deceased child, Child A, who had been in her care on Facebook following the death of the child. The accused answered: “I think it was curiosity. I wanted to see the people behind the awful event that had happened. They were on my mind." "It’s a common pattern of behavior for me. I think of somebody, and I look them up.”
Letby was accused of murdering a baby, referred to as Child C, with an injection of air into the feeding tube while she was working the nightshift on the night of June 13, 2015. Around ten hours after Child C died, Letby again searched for the child's mother on Facebook. She is accused of injecting other babies with air as well as insulin and milk.
Letby has also been accused of killing two out of three triplets soon after their birth (Child O and Child P), with no more than 24 hours between the deaths. The father of Child O described the state of his son before he passed away: "All of them were different colors. It looked like he had really bad prickly heat.. you could see something through his veins." Child P followed not long after, showing the same symptoms.
The third child survived after the parents pleaded their remaining child be moved to a different hospital. Letby is accused of injecting the two children with air.
She is also accused of injecting air into the feeding tube and blood stream of a premature baby, Child I, four times before the child eventually died. Although born prematurely, the child began to gain strength and her mother was hopeful that they would soon be discharged and go home together. The mother explained that Lucy Letby assisted her in preparing a bath for the child, who playfully enjoyed being bathed by her mother. Letby offered to take pictures of the mother and child together as a keepsake on the mother's phone, to which she agreed. During the early hours of October 23, 2015, the mother received a phone call informing her that the child's condition had declined, and the mother showed up to witness a failed resuscitation. Child I soon passed away. Following the death, the parents agreed to bathe the body of their deceased child one last time, and while doing so, Letby again offered to take pictures for them. Despite the situation, Letby was smiling and joyfully reminiscing about how she had been a part of the child’s first bath.
The trial continues.
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