The parents of twins attacked by killer nurse Lucy Letby have described the "hell" they have endured over the past seven years, saying the former health worker "took everything… Our joy, happiness".
Speaking anonymously, the mother and father of child L and child M spoke with ITV News’ Sangita Lal after the former nurse was found guilty of the attempted murder by a near-fatal dose of insulin administered to child L and injecting air into the bloodstream of child M while they were in her care in 2016. Both children survived the attacks.
Letby, 33, from Hereford, has been found guilty of murdering seven newborn babies and attempting to murder six more following a nine-month trial at Manchester Crown Court.
The mother, voiced by an actor, described to ITV News how it felt to sit across from Letby in court
The parents say the incidents have changed their lives forever and are calling for "evil" Letby to never be released from prison.
"I said, 'Oh my God, what happened?'" the mother said upon being alerted by a nurse that child M had collapsed.
"The doctor was giving compressions… One of the (other) nurses said to me: "I have not done anything. I’ve not done anything. And Lucy was behind her… Very calm and cool.'"
The father added: "I was there first because my wife was still in bed… The image that I saw was just horrendous. That image I’ll never forget.
"The doctors were just pumping (the) heart like a rag doll."
The couple revealed the first they heard of the deterioration of their second baby’s health, child L, was when police officers came to speak to them about Letby – two years later.
"We were shocked, we did know about baby M but they haven’t told us about baby L… Why had they not told us?" the mother said.
"We just couldn’t believe it… We didn’t know what baby L had gone through the night before.
"And what we heard in court was… As soon as (another nurse) left at half nine, (Letby) got the chance to attack baby L and administer insulin to baby L, a very high level of insulin, poisonous insulin."
The father added: "The insulin and all the blood sugars and all that - we didn’t know anything about that until the police came."
The mother explained she regularly conversed with Letby while the twins, who were born premature, were in hospital.
She said Letby seemed more aggressive after the babies had recovered: "I think she was unsuccessful with killing my kids. That’s why she was very annoyed with us, she thought: 'I couldn’t kill your baby.'"
When asked what Letby has taken from their family, the mother replied: "She took everything. Our joy, happiness."
The father said: "I’m not the same person I was before.
"In the run up to the case, I had suffered a seizure. I am a changed person.
"I was happy-go-lucky, go with the flow, always smiling, but now I’ve become reserved, so in the shell. And there’s no doubt it’s going to affect me for the rest of my life.
"It’s been hell, to be honest."
"No doubt it's going to affect me for the rest of my life": The father, voiced by an actor, describes how the incidents have changed his character
He added doctors have conducted tests on him but did not find anything, with the seizure presumed to be from anxiety.
The pair also opened up on what it was like to sit through the trial and face Letby – who denied harming any children - in court every day.
"I feel very sick of her, oh my God, I go home with a headache," the mother told ITV News.
"I have to take paracetamol every day when I go home, just because I have to listen to her lie, lie, lie.
"I say, 'Now, enough. Don’t tell lies please.'"
While the children live a normal life – "they're very happy, always fighting," their parents said part of child M's brain is damaged permanently by Letby's actions. The full impact of which the parents will not know for years, something they say they worry about every day.
The couple say Letby being found guilty "provides a bit of closure" but they would like to see a life sentence.
"I’m hoping she will never be released," the mother said.
"Otherwise, she is a danger to everyone."
The father added: "She's taken lives... She’s tried to take other babies' lives, so whatever sentence she gets it’s not going to be enough.
"It will be justice, but it won’t be enough."
"It could have been stopped. That's the fact"
The couple say they also blame the hospital and feel let down by their inaction, insisting a swifter investigation would have stopped later poisonings.
"(We feel) very, very let down," said the father.
"They could have stopped it. They could have done it a lot earlier, and they need to be held accountable as well.
"If they'd acted upon the initial suspicions, then they definitely could have stopped any more babies being attacked."
When asked what Letby means to them, the father responded: "She means nothing, just an evil person."
"There’s no way she should have been able to get away with it for so long."
The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s Executive Medical Director, Dr Nigel Scawn said: "I speak for the whole Trust when I say how deeply saddened and appalled we are at Lucy Letby’s crimes.
"We are extremely sorry that these crimes were committed at our hospital and our thoughts continue to be with all the families and loved ones of the babies who came to harm or died. We cannot begin to understand what they have been through.
"This case has had a profound impact on our patients and our local community and also our staff - who come to work every day determined to provide safe and high-quality care for our patients.
"Our staff are devastated by what happened and we are committed to ensuring lessons continue to be learnt. We are grateful for the cooperation of our staff, especially those who have maintained the utmost professionalism whilst giving evidence in the trial, sometimes on multiple occasions.
"We will continue to support them and other staff to ensure they receive the care and support they need.
"We would like to extend our thanks to Cheshire Police for their extensive investigation and the work they did to bring this case to trial. We’d also like to thank them for the comprehensive support they have provided to all of the families.
"Since Lucy Letby worked at our hospital, we have made significant changes to our services. I want to provide reassurance that every patient who accesses our services can have confidence in the care they will receive.
"And, most importantly, our thoughts are with all the families and loved ones at this very difficult time."
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