Lucy Letby tried to murder baby after making celebration banner, court told

<span>Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Lucy Letby tried to murder a baby hours after she had helped make a banner to celebrate the girl becoming 100 days old, a court has heard.

The infant reached the milestone after she was born 15 weeks premature at Arrowe Park hospital, Wirral, in May 2015, a jury at Manchester crown court was told.

The newborn, who can only be named as Child G, weighed just over 1lb (0.45kg) when she was born but was a “tiny little fighter” who was “growing and getting stronger”, her mother told police in a statement.

After 11 weeks at Arrowe Park, Child G was considered well enough to be transferred to the Countess of Chester hospital, where Letby worked.

Three weeks after her arrival the neonatal team celebrated the girl’s 100th day of life by putting up a banner and bringing in a cake, jurors heard.

The parents joined in the celebrations but were called in the early hours of the following morning with news that their daughter had vomited and was seriously unwell.

In the statement given to police, Child G’s mother said she arrived at the Countess of Chester in the early hours of 7 September 2015 to find her daughter in intensive care. “It was such a shock to us and she looked like she was going to die,” she said.

The Crown alleges Letby attempted to murder Child G by injecting her with milk and air through a nasogastric tube at about 2am on 7 September 2015. She allegedly made two other attempts on the baby’s life three weeks later.

The jury was shown text messages later that day when Letby, who had finished her shift, was told that Child G was being rushed back to Arrowe Park. Letby allegedly replied: “Oh no ... any idea what’s caused it?”

Letby’s colleague said they thought it was a “circulation collapse”, to which Letby responded questioning whether it could be that Child G was “extreme premature” and that “now she is older and doing more for herself ... it just takes a little ... something to tip her over”.

The girl’s mother said that on another occasion she had gone to get a coffee when Letby was taking her daughter’s bloods, the court heard.

When she returned the baby was “freaking out, screaming and just looked so puzzled”, she told police, and Letby was stood over the cot with another colleague.

Child G ended up in intensive care three times after being transferred from Arrowe Park to Letby’s ward, the jury was told.

The girl’s father told police he had noticed a change in his daughter following this incident. A statement read to jurors said: “When she had the vomit I could see that she was different as she didn’t respond to my voice the same any more.”

The father said he asked doctors if there was a virus on the ward because another baby girl – known as Child I – in the same room had fallen ill in the same period. Child I is one of seven babies allegedly murdered by Letby between June 2015 and June 2016.

Child G’s father told officers: “The consultant assured me there wasn’t a virus and nothing was wrong with the ward.”

Child G, who was given a 5% chance of survival at birth, is now seven years old and has cerebral palsy and is visually impaired, jurors were told.

Letby denies murdering seven babies and attempting to kill 10 others, including Child G. The trial continues.