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Nurse Lucy Letby found guilty of the murders of seven babies

Jess Hardiman

Published 
| Last updated 

Nurse Lucy Letby found guilty of the murders of seven babies

Featured Image Credit: Cheshire Constabulary/Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Nurse Lucy Letby, 33, has been found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

In 2015 and 2016, there was a significant rise in the numbers of babies who suffered serious and unexpected collapses at the Countess of Chester Hospital's neonatal unit, where Letby worked.

She was the only member of the nursing and clinical staff who was on duty each time the collapses happened.

During the trial - which began at Manchester Crown Court last October - the prosecution said the 'cold, cruel and relentless' band 5 staff nurse was a 'calculating and devious' opportunist who 'gaslighted' colleagues to cover her 'murderous assaults'.

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She used a number of ways to harm the babies, including injecting air into the bloodstream, injecting air into the stomach, overfeeding with milk, physical assaults and poisoning with insulin.

Some of the children were subjected to repeated attempts to kill them, the trial heard.

Lucy Letby. Credit: Cheshire Constabulary
Lucy Letby. Credit: Cheshire Constabulary

The morning of Thursday 17 August was Letby's last appearance in the courtroom, as she told her legal team she did not wish to attend any more of the proceedings.

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She was offered the opportunity of following her sentencing hearing via prison video link, but said she was not prepared to do so.

The court heard how Letby's presence when collapses took place was first raised as a concern to senior management by the unit’s head consultant in late June 2015.

These concerns among some consultants were then voiced to hospital bosses, afterwards increasing when further unexplained and unusual collapses followed.

Letby was not removed from the unit until June 2016, following the deaths of two triplet boys and the collapse of another baby boy on three successive days.

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Countess of Chester Hospital's Women and Children's building. Credit: Google Maps
Countess of Chester Hospital's Women and Children's building. Credit: Google Maps

She was confined to clerical work before registering a grievance procedure in September that year, which was resolved in her favour in December.

Letby had been due to return to the neonatal unit in March 2017, but this did not go ahead as police were contacted by the hospital trust.

She was eventually arrested at her semi-detached home in Westbourne Road, Chester, at 6am on 3 July 2018.

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Cheshire Police say they are continuing to review the care of some 4,000 babies who were admitted to the Countess of Chester during Letby's employment from 2012, as well as at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, where Letby had two work placements.

Only those cases highlighted as concerning medically would be investigated further, police added.

Topics: UK News, News

Jess Hardiman
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