Lucy Letby hugged mother after alleged attempt to murder baby, court hears

Nurse Lucy Letby hugged a mother after allegedly trying to kill her baby, a court has been told.

The 33-year-old is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others while working as a neonatal nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

She is accused of trying three times to kill Child N, who was born weighing 3lbs 11oz in June 2016, Manchester Crown Court heard on Thursday.

The prosecution allege Letby made her first attempt on June 3, hours after exchanging messages with a friend in which she denied being “flirty” with a doctor.

She is accused of carrying out two more attacks on June 15.

In a statement, the child’s father said he got a phone call from Letby on the day the baby was due to be discharged after spending 13 days on the neonatal unit.

He said: “Lucy said (Child N) had been a bit unwell in the night but she said he was OK now.”

He said Letby did not give him any more information and he did not get the impression the baby was still unwell, but 10 minutes later his partner rang after speaking to the hospital and said they needed to go in.

When they got there, the baby, who has the blood clotting condition haemophilia, was in intensive care and Letby was by his bed, he said.

He said: “Lucy just said, Hi, he’s been a bit unwell in the night’. I felt shocked looking at him.”

He described the infant’s skin as a bluish colour and said he could see blood around his lips.

The father said the baby’s condition deteriorated twice more, once when he and his partner left to get food and again when they left to seek medical advice for his partner, who was feeling unwell.

He said Letby approached them as they were waiting for the baby to be transferred to Merseyside’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where he made a full recovery.

He said: “Lucy then came up to us.

“She told us she’d stayed on late past the end of her shift and she said to (my partner), ‘I hope he’s OK’ and gave my partner a hug.

“She might have given (my partner) a kiss, I’m not sure.”

In a statement, the baby’s mother said: “Lucy was our main point of contact through the day because she was tending to (Child N) in between consultants being with him.

“We had (Child N) baptised during the day and that was recommended to us by Lucy.”

Letby’s first alleged attempt to kill Child N took place less than 24 hours after he was born, when the nurse designated to look after him was on a break at about 1am, the court was told.

At about 8.30pm the previous day, while Letby was working the night shift, she exchanged messages with a friend who suggested she was “flirty” with a doctor working on the unit at the time.

Letby replied: “Shut up! I don’t flirt with him! Certainly don’t fancy him ha ha just a nice guy.”

Letby, originally from Hereford, denies the alleged offences, which are said to have taken place between June 2015 and June 2016.