Lucy Letby defends ‘happier’ comments while parents bathed dead baby
As the trial continues, Yahoo News UK sets out who Letby is, her background and what she has been charged with.
Nurse Lucy Letby has defended 'trying to reflect on a happier memory' while talking to a grieving couple bathing their dead daughter.
Letby, 33, is said to have murdered the baby girl, Child I, at the fourth attempt in October 2015.
The nurse from Hereford is accused of murdering seven babies and the attempted murder of 10 others at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016. Letby denies all charges.
Following Child I's death she was bathed by her parents as part of the unit's standard bereavement service.
Child I’s mother previously told jurors at Manchester Crown Court that Letby came in during the process and was "smiling".
The mother added Letby "kept going on about how she was present at (Child I’s) first bath and how much (Child I) had loved it".
When asked by Nick Johnson KC why she said that Letby replied: "I was trying in this awful situation to have a little bit of normality and I was referring to a positive memory.
"It was not meant with any malice. It was just trying to reflect on a happier memory."
Johnson then asked: "Were you getting a thrill out of what you were watching, the grief and despair you were watching in that room?"
Letby said: "Absolutely not."
Latest updates on the Lucy Letby trial:
Lucy Letby trial: Nurse says 'raw sewage' on hospital floor may have contributed to baby deaths (Sky News, 4 min)
Lucy Letby ‘attacked nine babies just after their parents left their cotsides’ (PA, 3 min)
Accused Lucy Letby tells court doctors could have acted sooner to assist baby (PA, 4 min)
Who is Lucy Letby and where is she from?
Letby's address has been given in court as Arran Avenue, Hereford, but the 33-year-old is known to have lived in the Blacon area of Chester.
She worked at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit.
In a 2013 interview with the Chester and District Standard newspaper, the nurse said she cared for babies requiring various levels of support.
She had worked at the unit as a student nurse during three years of training before qualifying as a children's nurse at the University of Chester in 2011.
Letby said she started working at the unit after graduating.
When was Lucy Letby arrested and what is she charged with?
Letby was arrested three times over the space of two years during an investigation into baby deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital's neonatal unit.
The first arrest was in July 2018, on suspicion of the murder of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies. She was bailed.
Letby was then rearrested in June 2019, again on suspicion of the murder of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies. This time, she was also arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of three additional babies. She was bailed.
Finally, in November 2020, Letby was rearrested on suspicion of the murder of eight babies and the attempted murder of nine babies.
One day later, police charged Letby with eight counts of murder and 10 of attempted murder. The charges related to a period between June 2015 and June 2016.
She pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing at Manchester Crown Court in October 2021.
In June last year, Letby had one not guilty verdict recorded for one of the murder charges.
It meant that when she went on trial in October last year, she faced seven murder charges (five boys and two girls) and 10 attempted murder charges (five boys and five girls).
Letby denies the alleged offences. The trial continues.