“Persistent…calculated…cold-blooded” – Lucy Letby murdered a baby on her fourth attempt... and then sent the child’s parents a sympathy card.
The prosecution in the Lucy Letby trial continued its opening at Manchester Crown Court this morning, starting with the details around Child H.
Over the last couple of days, the jury have been given information regarding Child A through to Child G – including the methods the prosecution alleges Letby used in her attacks between June of 2015 and June of 2016.
The former nurse is accused of the murder of seven babies, and the attempted murders of a further 10 babies whilst she worked on the neo-natal ward at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
Lucy Letby denies all the allegations against her.
Today, prosecutor Nick Johnson KC began by telling the court that Lucy Letby attempted to murder Child H twice, on back-to-back occasions in September of 2015. He also said that in this instance, as with several of the other, when the child was removed from Letby’s influence, it “was often followed by their sudden and remarkable recovery.”
The jury then heard about Child I – whom the prosecution described as an “extreme example even by the standards of this overall case.”
It has been alleged that Lucy Letby attempted to murder Child I on four separate occasions – with success on her fourth attempt. Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC said: “It was persistent, it was calculated, and it was cold-blooded.”
After the loss of her daughter, the court heard, Child I’s mother was granted the opportunity to bathe her recently deceased baby. The prosecutor said that, in the words of the mother, Letby then came into the room and “was smiling and kept going on about how she was present at (Child I’s) first bath and how much (Child I) had loved it’.”
The court also heard that Letby had sent the parents of Child I a sympathy card.
The prosecution then proceeded to give the details around Child J, whom Lucy Letby allegedly attempted to murder on the 27th of November in 2015.
The jury then heard about Letby’s attempted murder of Child K. The prosecution suggested that a doctor who was suspicious of Letby walked in as she was trying to kill the child.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC said: “As he walked into room one, he saw Letby standing over child K’s incubator. She did not have her hands inside the incubator, but (he) could see from the monitor on the wall that child K’s oxygen saturation level was falling dangerously low.
“But the alarm was not sounding as it should have been and Lucy Letby had not called for help, despite child K’s oxygen levels falling.”
Child K survived this incident but died two days later. However, Lucy Letby is not accused of her murder.
In the cases of Child L and Child M – twins that Lucy Letby allegedly attempted to murder on the 9th of April in 2016 – the prosecution reminded the jury of similarities between these babies, and another set of twins – Child E and Child F.
Yesterday, the court heard that Letby had murdered Child E by injecting air into the bloodstream and had attempted to murder Child F via insulin poisoning.
Today, they heard that almost exactly the same was true for Child L and Child M, although in this instance, both twins survived.
The prosecution then gave details about Child N, whom they allege Lucy Letby attempted to murder on three separate occasions – once on the 3rd of June 2016, and a further twice on the 15th of that same month.
At one point, Child N collapsed with his oxygen reaching a life-threatening level. However, once he was transferred to a specialist children’s hospital in Liverpool, he made a fast recovery.
The prosecution closed the day by telling the jury about Child O and Child P – two baby boys out of a set of triplets. Lucy Letby has been charged with both of their murders on the 23rd and 24th of July 2016, respectively.
Court has now concluded for the day, with the prosecution expected to complete its opening tomorrow, with the details of Child Q. The counsel for the defence – Ben Myers KC - will then make an opening speech, expected to last around 90 minutes.