Lucy Letby went out ‘drinking fizz and going to the races’ after baby deaths, court hears

Lucy Letby - Nicholas Razzell
Lucy Letby - Nicholas Razzell

Neonatal nurse Lucy Letby went out “drinking fizz and going to the races” in the aftermath of the “calculated and cold-blooded” murders of seven babies, a court has heard.

During her 14th and final day of evidence, Ms Letby, 33, was accused of “deliberately misleading” jurors with a “sob story” over her removal from the job she said she loved.

Ms Letby continued to work at the Countess of Chester Hospital from July 2016 on clerical duties, up to when she was arrested in 2018 on suspicion of harming babies in her care.

She previously told Manchester Crown Court that she felt “isolated” and “cut off from my nursing family” during those years, as she was told she could not talk to colleagues – apart from two fellow nurses and a doctor who it is alleged she “had a crush on”.

On Friday, prosecutor Nick Johnson KC presented Ms Letby with a file of messages and photographs from her mobile phone, together with diary entries, from July 2016 onwards.

Lucy Letby in court - Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire
Lucy Letby in court - Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

Mr Johnson accused the nurse of telling lies in order to get sympathy and attention from fellow staff members, and also jurors during her trial.

“You were killing children to get attention, weren’t you? And you’re getting quite a lot of attention now,”  he said.

Document ‘peppered’ with social events

Mr Johnson then suggested her claim to have felt isolated “from my friends and family” after eventually being removed from the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital was untrue.

Ms Letby was handed a 26-page document that the barrister said was “peppered” with social engagements she had gone on between July 2016 when she was removed from the unit and June 2018 when police first knocked on her front door to arrest her.

The defendant, from Hereford, denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016.

After being shown the list of her social engagements however, Ms Letby said: “Yes, there were times in those years that I had a good time. Yes.”

Mr Johnson asked: “Drinking fizz? Going to the races? You felt like this because you knew you had killed or grievously injured these children”.

“No,” she said.

Jurors were shown a photograph of Ms Letby and her father, John, on holiday in July 2016.

In August 2016 Ms Letby photographed her parents on a trip to Cheshire and another picture was taken with her two cousins.

‘I’m not the same person I was’

On New Year’s Eve 2016 Ms Letby wrote on Facebook: “I’m not the same person I was when 2016 began but I’m fortunate to have my own home.

“I’ve met some incredible people and I have family and friends who have stood by me regardless.

“Thank you to those who have kept me smiling. Wishing every happiness to us all in 2017.”

The prosecutor also questioned her about a note she had written to two triplets – Baby O and Baby P – she is alleged to have murdered, along with their brother who survived.

The note began with the line: “Today is your birthday” and continues: “You aren’t here and I’m so sorry for that.”

When Mr Johnson asked why she had included the name of the surviving brother, Ms Letby replied: “I can’t answer that.”

The barrister put to her: “It’s because in your mind… perhaps anticipating, there was a terminal end in sight for (the surviving triplet) if he’d stayed with you.”

“No,” said Ms Letby.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday after Ms Letby completed her evidence.