Lucy Letby trial: Nurse accused of murdering baby boy 'sabotaged his care to get attention of her crush', court told

Nurse Lucy Letby "sabotaged" the care of a baby boy to get her crush's attention, a court has heard.

Letby, 33, is alleged to have murdered the newborn triplet, known as Child O, on her first shift back at the Countess of Chester Hospital following a holiday in Ibiza with friends in June 2016.

Her trial at Manchester Crown Court was today shown multiple messages between Letby and a colleague she was allegedly "sweet on".

They were sent before she is accused of killing two triplet babies.

The latest from the Lucy Letby trial

In total, Letby is charged with killing seven babies and attempting to murder 10 more infants in 2015 and 2016 when she worked on the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester.

Letby, from Hereford, denies all 22 charges against her.

'Back with a bang'

In June 2016, she was on holiday in Ibiza when the triplets were born and messaged a colleague about returning to the unusual situation of caring for three siblings.

A WhatsApp message that Letby sent before her return to work read: "Yep probably be back in with a bang lol."

Within 72 hours of sending that text, Children O and P had died, and Child Q had suffered a collapse so severe he was moved to intensive care.

During the 13th day of giving her evidence - which began at the start of May - Letby was then asked about the messages she exchanged with a male colleague once she was back on shift.

While the prosecution has previously referred to the man as Letby's "boyfriend", she has already denied she had a crush on her colleague and said earlier in her evidence that she "loved him as a friend".

Letby 'wanted crush's attention'

At 9.32am on 23 June 2016, Letby texted him "Boo" after he said he was not on the neonatal unit.

"Were you disappointed he wasn't there, on the unit?" prosecutor Nick Johnson KC asked.

"Yes, I enjoyed working with [colleague]," Letby said.

"Did you want to get his attention?" Mr Johnson asked.


"Is that the reason you sabotaged Child O?"

"No," Ms Letby replied.

"Were you trying to get his attention?" Mr Johnson asked again.

"Yes, I wanted him to review [Child O]," Letby replied.

"But his personal attention?"

"No," said Letby.

The nurse was asked how she found time to send so many messages while she was working. She said staff would often use their phones but not while they were at the cot side.

'He's not leaving here alive'

A day after his brother died, Child P desaturated - meaning a loss of blood oxygen levels - suddenly.

Lucy Letby allegedly told her colleagues, when Child P desaturated for the third time: "He's not leaving here alive, is he?"

In court, she denied saying this.

The infant suddenly became unwell when the two on-call doctors (including the one Letby was allegedly "sweet on") had gone to the tearoom for a quick break.

Then they heard Letby calling for help and when they returned, she was standing over Child P.

"I can't recall that now, but that's what they say," Letby said.

"There was a problem with his breathing tube, do you remember that?" Mr Johnson asked.

Letby replied: "I don't remember that from my memory now."

The baby had been unable to move, so could not have dislodged it himself, the prosecution argues.

"Is it just yet another bit of bad luck that it happened just after everyone else left?" Mr Johnson asked Letby.

"Yes," the nurse replied.

The final victim

Letby allegedly pumped her final victim, Child Q, with a "clear fluid," according to the prosecution.

"That didn't happen, no," Letby said in response.

Nick Johnson KC says giving Child Q milk wouldn't have been an option because the infant was only being fed 0.5ml every few hours.

"If he vomited a large amount of milk it would be very obvious something was wrong," Mr Johnson said.

"Yes," Letby acknowledged.

The infant eventually vomited a clear fluid from his mouth and nose.

The prosecution argued Letby "disappeared" at the moment he suddenly deteriorated on 25 June 2016.

"You were just looking for a reason to get out of the room when [colleague] appeared in the unit," Mr Johnson said.

"No," Letby replied.

She later said she "walked in on a conversation" between colleagues and feared she was "being held responsible for something that didn't happen".