The murder trial of Lucy Letby, a 33-year-old nurse, has revealed that she was one of only two nurses on duty when two baby boys were poisoned with insulin eight months apart. The prosecution alleges that Letby added unprescribed insulin to a bag or bags containing nutrients that were intravenously given to Child F in August 2015 at the Countess of Chester Hospital. She is also accused of deliberately poisoning another baby, Child L, with insulin on the neonatal unit in April 2016. Both infants experienced hypoglycaemic episodes but went on to make full recoveries.
During a police interview, Letby denied being aware that Child F had problems with his blood sugar. However, a WhatsApp conversation between her and a colleague on August 5, 2015, showed that she was aware of the issue. The prosecution claimed that Letby was attempting to create the impression that the child’s blood sugar collapse was due to natural causes, not sabotage.
Letby also claimed that the nutrition bags she is accused of tampering with would have been secure, but a doctor has previously demonstrated to the trial how the tamper-proof bag could have been broken. “Whoever did it, did it deliberately,” said prosecutor Nick Johnson. Letby eventually responded, “Not by me it wasn’t.”
In another instance, the court heard about Child K, who was born weighing just 692 grams and was due to be moved to a specialist hospital when she suddenly collapsed. Letby was not the designated nurse for the infant, but swipe card data show that the child collapsed just three minutes after being left in her care. Letby said she had no memory of looking after the baby, and when asked if she disputed the evidence, she replied, “I don’t know how I can answer that.”
A doctor on the neonatal unit had grown suspicious of Letby’s alleged involvement in the deaths. He previously told the court that he walked into Child K’s room and found that the alarm was not sounding as it should have been, despite her oxygen levels being dangerously low. He also noted that Letby was making no effort to help the child.
Letby, from Hereford, denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of ten others between June 2015 and June 2016. The trial, which began on October 10, 2022, has been adjourned due to illness in the jury, with no more evidence expected to be heard until at least Wednesday.
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