Nurse thought ‘not again’ when second twin baby suddenly collapsed, Lucy Letby murder trial told

Lucy Letby worked on the neonatel unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Credit: PA images

A nurse thought “not again” when a premature baby collapsed on a neonatal unit 24 hours after the death of their twin, the trial of murder accused nurse Lucy Letby has heard.

The child’s brother had deteriorated rapidly and died at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s despite efforts to revive him.

Letby - who denies killing seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others - is alleged to have injected air into Child A's bloodstream on 8 June 2015.

The 32-year-old, who is from Hereford, is accused of using the exact same method to attack his twin sister, Child B, the following night.

Lucy Letby is accused of killing seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others. Credit: PA images

A nursing colleague of Letby - who cannot be identified - told Manchester Crown Court that she was preparing medicines when the monitor alarm sounded at Child B’s incubator.

She said Nurse Letby was the first to go to the cot and she called her for help.

Asked about Child B’s appearance, she said: “She looked very ill. She looked very like her brother did the night before.

"Pale, white, with this purple blotchy discolouration. It was all over her body.

“I just remember thinking ‘not again’ – to see his sister with the same appearance."

A breathing tube was inserted and Child B “started to stabilise quite quickly”, said the witness giving evidence screened from the public gallery and the defendant.

Police outside the home of murder accused Lucy Letby. Credit: PA images

The nurse went on: “(Child A’s) deterioration was very sudden and to an unusual degree. Babies can be very poorly quickly but there is usually some indication that is happening. We had no undue concerns.

“To go from that is very unusual and then (Child B) had been good throughout the evening for me … then she became ill very quickly.

"She deteriorated very quickly and then this discolouration. You never want any baby to die. You want to help them go home to their families. That’s always been my goal.”

Child B was discharged a month later, a court heard.

The nurse witness was interviewed by police in 2018 but said she could not explain why she had not mentioned Child A's unusual discolouration.

But when later questioned about Child B she said her discoloured skin was similar to her brother.

The nurse told the jury she could not remember who administered intravenous fluids to Child A shortly before his collapse but accepted she told police that another nursing colleague had “pressed start” in the process and Letby assisted with checks.

Lucy Letby sits in the dock during her trial at Manchester Crown Court. Credit: PA images

She said she acted as “mentor” to Letby, who first came to the unit as a trainee around 2010/11 while studying at the University of Chester.

They became “good friends”, she said, as Letby went on to join the unit after she qualified.

Ben Myers KC, defending, said: “We know the allegations but your experience when working with her was she was highly professional?

“Yes,” replied the witness.

Mr Myers said: “And dedicated to the work she was doing?”

"Yes,” the witness agreed.

Letby denies all the charges related to her time as a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

The trial continues.