Child killer Lucy Letby guilty of attempted murder of baby girl after retrial


Convicted child killer Lucy Letby has been found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of the attempted murder of a baby girl at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Letby, 34, was convicted at Manchester Crown Court last August by another jury of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neo-natal unit between June 2015 and June 2016.

A verdict on the allegation concerning a baby girl, known as Child K, could not be reached and a retrial at the same court was ordered on that single count.

On Tuesday, Letby was convicted by the fresh jury of trying to murder the “very premature” infant by dislodging her breathing tube in the early hours of February 17 2016.

Letby targeted Child K after the infant was moved from the delivery room to the neo-natal unit shortly after her premature birth.

The youngster, born at 25 weeks’ gestation and weighing just 692g, was said by the prosecution to be the “epitome of fragility”.

About 90 minutes after her birth, Letby deliberately dislodged Child K’s breathing tube through which she was being ventilated with air and oxygen.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Ravi Jayaram caught her “virtually red-handed” as he entered the unit’s intensive care room at about 3.45am and he then went on to intervene and resuscitate Child K.

Dr Jayaram told jurors he saw “no evidence” that she had done anything to help the deteriorating baby as he walked in and saw her standing next to the infant’s incubator.

He said he heard no call for help from Letby or alarms sounding as Child K’s blood oxygen levels suddenly dropped.

Letby told the jury of six women and six men she had no recollection of any such event.

She denied she did anything harmful to Child K and added that she had not committed any of the offences she had been convicted of.

Letby also denied the prosecution’s claims that she interfered with the infant’s breathing tube on two more occasions during the same shift to create the impression that Child K was habitually displacing her own tube.

Child K was transferred to a specialist hospital later on February 17 because of her extreme prematurity and died there three days later.

No post-mortem examination was conducted and the cause of death was certified as extreme prematurity and severe respiratory distress syndrome.

More than two years later on a late Friday night in April 2018, Letby searched on Facebook for Child K’s surname.

Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC said it was part of a pattern of similar Facebook searches as he told the jury: “The truth is that Lucy Letby had a fascination with the babies she had murdered and attempted to murder, and with their families. She took pleasure in her murderous handiwork.”

Letby was initially charged with the murder of Child K but the charge was dropped in June 2022 as the prosecution offered no evidence.

In May, Letby lost her Court of Appeal bid to challenge her convictions.

A public inquiry into how Letby was able to commit her crimes on the neo-natal unit is set to begin at Liverpool Town Hall on September 10.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children involved in the case.