Child killer Lucy Letby claims she never tried to harm any babies

Lucy Letby
Lucy Letby is accused of deliberately dislodging Baby K's breathing tube - CHESTER STANDARD/SOUTH WEST NEWS SERVICE

Convicted child murderer Lucy Letby denies ever harming a baby in her care, a court heard.

The 34-year-old former nurse is on trial accused of attempting to murder an infant while she worked a night shift at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit in February 2016.

Letby was convicted last August of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others at the hospital, between June 2015 and June 2016.

However, the jury could not reach a verdict on a single allegation involving Baby K, for which she is currently on trial at Manchester Crown Court.

She insisted that she was innocent of the multiple charges she was convicted of, stating: “I am not guilty of what I have been found guilty of.”

On Monday, Ben Myers KC, for the defence, began by asking her if she had attempted to kill Baby K. “No,” Letby replied.

“Did you intend to do her any harm at all?”, Mr Myers asked. “No,” she repeated.

Mr Myers then asked Letby, who was dressed in a black trouser suit, if she accepted that she ever intended to harm any baby that had been in her care. “No,” she replied.

Mr Myers continued: “Do you accept that you have ever tried to harm any baby in your care?” Again, she replied: “No.”

‘Virtually red-handed’

The court heard previously that Dr Ravi Jayaram, a consultant paediatrician, had claimed he caught Letby “virtually red-handed” moments after she allegedly attacked Baby K.

Dr Jayaram told jurors he entered the neonatal unit’s intensive care room and saw Letby standing next to Baby K’s incubator and “doing nothing”.

He said he had gone into the room to check on Letby as he felt “uncomfortable” about her being alone with the child.

Dr Jayaram alleges that when he walked into the room the baby’s oxygen levels were dropping rapidly and an alarm which should have been sounding had been silenced.

The prosecution case is that Letby deliberately dislodged the child’s breathing tube.

Letby said she had no memory of the incident that Dr Jayaram described, but she did remember Baby K as it was unusual to have such a premature baby on the unit.

Under cross-examination, Nick Johnson KC, asked Letby if she was suggesting that Dr Jayaram was not telling the truth about what had happened.

She replied: “I don’t think I can comment on whether he is telling the truth, I just know that did not happen.”

She added: “I know my actions and I know I did not displace that tube.”

‘It wasn’t me’

The court heard Baby K was born extremely premature at 2.12am on February 17 2016, weighing 692g.

Jurors were told that in a defence statement, made on February 11 2022, Letby said: “I do not believe anyone on the unit had sufficient experience to look after a 25-week baby. Certainly none of the nursing staff did.”

She also said that Baby K was “capable of dislodging the tube” and did not accept the “post-delivery care” was of “optimal standard”.

In court, she added: “There were issues throughout [Baby K’s] time on the unit with size of tubing, how that was secured and how that was managed.”

Mr Johnson then asked her if another possibility for the collapse was that someone had dislodged the baby’s tube.

She accepted it was, in theory, possible, but added: “It wasn’t me.”

Mr Johnson said: “Doesn’t it come to this, you are saying you are not the sort of person who kills babies, you would not do that sort of thing.”

“No, I wouldn’t, no”, Letby replied.

“But you are just that sort of person aren’t you? You have killed seven babies in that unit haven’t you? And you tried to kill six others, one on two separate occasions, didn’t you?”

“No, I haven’t,” Letby repeated.

Letby then denied she searched through the Facebook pages of children she had been convicted of killing to “look for evidence of grief”.

When asked how she remembered the names of the babies and their parents months after they had been on the unit, she said: “I carry a lot of babies around in my head.”

Baby K was transferred to Arrowe Park, a specialist hospital on February 17.

She died there three days later, although the prosecution does not allege Letby caused her death.

Letby, of Hereford, denies a single count of attempted murder.