Second baby's death was ‘all a bit much’ murder-accused nurse Lucy Letby told colleague, court hears

Lucy Letby denies all the charges against her. Credit: SWNS

A nurse accused of killing seven babies told a colleague it was “all a bit much” after allegedly murdering a second baby, a court has heard.

Lucy Letby, 32, is claimed to have killed the premature baby, known as Child C, days after killing Child A and attempting to murder his twin sister, Child B, in June 2015.

Her trial at Manchester Crown Court heard Child C, who weighed 800 grams (1lb 12oz), collapsed while Letby was on a night shift, and died just before 6am on 14 June.

After finishing her shift that morning Letby, originally from Hereford, then sent messages to her friends.

In one, to colleague Jennifer Jones-Key, she said: “Sorry if I was off, just wasn’t a great start to the shift but sadly it got worse.”

She went on to say: “I was struggling to accept what happened to (Child A). Now we’ve lost (Child C) overnight and it’s all a bit much.”

She described the death as “so sad and cruel” and told Ms Jones-Key: "I just keep seeing them both. No-one should have to see and do the things we do. It’s heart-breaking."

She added: "It’s not about me or anyone else, it’s those poor parents who have to walk away without their baby. It’s so unbelievably sad."

Letby also messaged her mother, Susan, that morning and said: “We lost a little one overnight. Very unexpected and sad.”

The Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

She told her mother the baby only weighed 800 grams and was being looked after by “new girl” Sophie Ellis, who was “devastated”.

Mrs Letby replied: “We are so proud of you, love you.”

Letby later messaged Ms Ellis and told her: “We are a good team and we’ll get through. You did so, so well.”

She messaged another colleague to tell her about the death of Child C and said: “All happened very quickly.”

She went on to say: “There are no words, it’s been awful.”

Just before 4pm on the day of Child C’s death, Letby searched his parents’ names on Facebook, the court heard.

The jury was told that later that month another baby, Child D, died on the unit.

On 30 June, Letby and a colleague exchanged messages about the condition of Child B.

Her colleague said: “There’s something odd about that night and the other three that went so suddenly.”

Letby replied: “What do you mean?”

She added: “Well (Child C) was tiny obviously compromised in utero, (Child D) septic. It’s (Child A) I can’t get my head around.”

Letby denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of 10 others at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of surviving and dead children allegedly attacked by Letby, and also prohibits identifying parents or witnesses connected with the children.