Lucy Letby: 5 key details from trial of 'baby killer' nurse heard on Monday

FILE PICTURE - Lucy Letby.  See SWNS story SWLEnurse A nurse has today (Tues) been arrested for the third time on suspicion of murdering eight babies and attempting to kill nine more.  The woman, named in reports as Lucy Letby, is being quizzed in custody after a three year investigation into the death of babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital. 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 was re-arrested in 2019 after being suspected of trying to murder another three infants. Cheshire Police confirmed today that she was being held over the deaths of the eight tots as well as the attempted murder of three more babies - bringing the total to nine.
Nurse Lucy Letby is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others. (SWNS)

Nurse Lucy Letby is on trial accused of the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of 10 others.

Letby, 32, from Hereford, denies murdering five boys and two girls, and attempting to murder another five boys and five girls, between June 2015 and June 2016.

She worked in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester at the time.

On the sixth day of her trial, jurors at Manchester Crown Court heard evidence about her first two alleged victims in June 2015.

Here are five key developments from her trial on Monday.

'Please don't let my baby die'

On Monday, the trial began to hear evidence about Letby's first two alleged victims - twins who suffered sudden collapses in their incubators.

She is charged with murdering Child A, a boy, and attempting to murder his sister, Child B, in early June 2015.

Letby is accused of fatally injecting an excess amount of air into the bloodstream of Child A, and then attempting to murder his sister, Child B, via the same method.

The twin babies' parents were watching television in a side room on the night after Child A's birth when a member of the nursing staff came in and told them, "you need to come quick", the court heard.

In a witness statement, Child A’s mother said: “All I can remember is being wheeled into a room and it felt like hundreds of people were standing over his cot and trying to resuscitate him.

“A nurse asked if I was religious and if I wanted them to say a prayer.”

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Lucy Letby appearing in the dock at Manchester Crown Court where she is charged with the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of another ten, between June 2015 and June 2016 while working on the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital. Picture date: Monday October 17, 2022.
A court artist's sketch of Lucy Letby, left, n the dock at Manchester Crown Court on Monday. (PA)

Child A’s grandmother recalled: “The minute I went into that room and saw the baby boy I knew he was gone. He was blue.

“The room seemed full of medical staff. (Child A’s mother) was sobbing uncontrollably at this point. She said: ‘Please don’t let my baby die, please don’t let my baby die’.

“(Child A’s father) was in shock. He was like a statue and didn’t say a word.”

The grandmother said a consultant told the family that Child A was not responding but her daughter continued to say, ‘Please don’t let him die, please don’t let him die’."

Parents didn't have chance to hold son when he was alive

After Child A's parents were told he would have brain damage and further complications if he survived, the grandmother said she told her daughter, "You need to let him go", the court heard.

Child A’s mother said, “No, carry on”, she said, but eventually she relented and “simply nodded her head” to the doctors to stop chest compressions.

In his witness statement read to the court, Child A’s father said to his partner “something along the lines of ‘We have to let him go, he is not there anymore’.”

Both Child A’s parents said: “One of the things that upset me the most is that I never had the opportunity to hold my son when he was alive.”

The nursing care of Child A had been handed over to Letby shortly before his collapse, the court heard.

Child B

The following night, Child A's sister, Child B, collapsed when Letby was again on duty, the jury was told.

Following the death of Child A, her mother said she was “frantic, anxious and extremely upset” and did not want Child B “to be out of my sight”.

She and her partner were eventually persuaded by nursing staff to get some rest, the court heard.

“We returned to the ward and attempted to watch a film and the next thing I know we were getting woke up by a nurse,” she explained.

CHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: A general view of the Countess of Chester Hospital, where nurse Lucy Letby used to work on November 12, 2020 in Chester, England. Lucy Letby, formerly a nurse at Countess of Chester Hospital, is charged with eight counts of murder and 10 counts of attempted murder stemming from deaths at the hospital between June 2015 and June 2016. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The Countess of Chester Hospital, where nurse Lucy Letby is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others. (Getty Images)

“’You need to come now’. My heart sank. Not my baby. Not again.”

They rushed into the neonatal unit where a nurse told them Child B had stabilised following a “very similar situation” to Child A, with a rapid fall in heart rate and oxygen levels.

Her skin was also discoloured and mottled, which a consultant said they had never seen before, the jury heard.

The mother said she was “frantic and terrified” and stayed with Child B throughout the night and the youngster was “restless... as if she was trying to tell me something was wrong”.

Mother stayed until night shift change

Following her own discharge from the Countess of Chester Hospital, the mother explained she would arrive daily at 9am to see Child B, the court heard.

Child B’s mother said she would always stay on until the unit’s shift change so she knew who was working nights.

A police van parked outside Manchester Crown Court, where the Lucy Letby murder trial is due to take place. She has pleaded not guilty to murdering eight babies and the attempted murder of ten babies, between June 2015 and June 2016 while working on the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital, Chester. Picture date: Tuesday October 4, 2022.
Lucy Letby's trial is being heard at Manchester Crown Court. (PA)

She and her partner would then set alarms on their phone at two-hour intervals overnight so they could call the hospital for updates on Child B.

She stated: “I was, and still am, extremely protective of her.”

Child B was discharged in July 2015 and does not appear to have suffered any adverse consequences from her collapse, the court heard.

Mother 'furious' at doctor's blood disorder comment

The twins’ mother had previously been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and was due to have an elective Caesarean section in London under the care of a specialist.

But the week before, she required an emergency Caesarean section at the Countess of Chester following a diagnosis of preeclampsia.

The timing left her “extremely upset”, she said.

Child B was born at 8.30pm on 7 June and weighed 3lb 11oz – and needed assistance with breathing problems – while Child A followed at 8.31pm and weighed 31b 12oz.

She said that following Child A’s death, she and her partner “searched for a reason why”.

She said she was “furious” when it was suggested to her by a consultant that if Child A’s post-mortem examination was inconclusive then “it may be to do with my blood condition”.

She added that they “asked for answers we never really got”.

The trial continues.

Watch: Nurse accused of murdering seven babies wrote 'I am evil I did this', court told