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12th Oct 2022

Lucy Letby: Nurse ‘killed premature baby girl on fourth attempt’ – before sending parents a sympathy card

Charlie Herbert

Lucy Letby trial

Lucy Letby is accused of killing eight babies over the course of a year

A court has heard how nurse Lucy Letby killed a premature baby girl on the fourth attempt before sending her parents a sympathy card.

Letby is accused of killing seven babies and trying to kill ten more between June 2015 and June 2016. She was arrested in 2020 after an investigation into baby deaths and non-fatal collapses on the NHS neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

The 32-year-old is currently on trial at Manchester Crown Court and denies 22 of the charges against her.

The court heard that Letby tried to kill the baby girl, referred to for legal reasons as Child I , by injecting her with air.

She is also accused of killing other infants by injecting them with insulin and milk.

Continuing the prosecution’s opening statement for a third day, Nick Johnson KC said the circumstances of the Child I’s death were “an extreme example even by the standards of this case”.

Lucy Letby worked at The Countess of Chester Hospital where she is accused of attacking a number of babies (SWNS)

He described the baby as “resilient” but said that “at the fourth attempt, Lucy Letby succeeded in killing her.”

On the first occasion Letby, of Hereford, injected the child with air. Then on the second occasion she had stood in the doorway of the girl’s darkened room and commented that she looked pale.

When a nurse turned the light on they noticed that Child I was not breathing.

At the third attempt, excess air was also found in the baby’s stomach. After being transferred to Arrowe Park Hospital where she stabilised, the bay was taken back to Chester.

When Child I’s medical alarm went off following a fourth attempt, another nurse found Letby next to the incubator, the jury was told.

The baby died that morning.

Following Child I’s death, Letby and another nurse asked the baby’s mother if she would like to bathe her daughter. Letby then came into the room whilst the mother was doing this and watched “smiling,” the BBC reports.

The nurse later sent a sympathy card to the parents and kept an image of the card on her phone.

The court has already heard that Letby would search for the families of some of her alleged victims on Facebook after their deaths.

Before she was charged in November 2020, Letby had been arrested on two previous occasions.

Letby was initially arrested in July 2018 as part of a major police inquiry into the deaths of 17 babies at the hospital.

She was quizzed on suspicion of murdering eight babies and attempting to kill a further six. She was subsequently bailed pending further inquiries.

But she was re-arrested in 2019 after being suspected of trying to murder another three infants.

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