Nurse Lucy Letby tried to kill baby while designated carer was on break, court hears

The Countess of Chester Hospital and Lucy Letby

A nurse accused of murdering seven babies tried to kill another as the girl's designated nurse took her hour-long break, a court has been told.

It is claimed Lucy Letby, 32, attacked the premature baby girl as she marked her 100 day milestone at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Just hours earlier she had helped to make a party banner for the premature-born baby, known as Child G.

Manchester Crown Court was told Letby, originally from Hereford, attempted to murder the youngster from 2am on 7 September 2015, while a colleague looking after the child was on a hour-long break.

Day shift staff on the neonatal unit were then said to be “surprised” the infant had to be moved to intensive care overnight.

Jurors were read a statement from a nurse who took over Child G’s care at the end of Letby’s night shift.

The nurse, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, stated: “I remember (Child G) being very poorly that day which surprised me and the staff because prior to 7 September (Child G) was very stable.”

She said Child G had been “feeding and growing” in the outside nursery rooms of the unit following her transfer from Wirral’s Arrowe Park Hospital.

The nurse said she remembered 7 September because Child G was 100-days-old and that was a regular milestone marked in which a staff member would bake a cake for a child, with balloons placed around the bedside.

She went on: “Lucy told me (Child G) had vomited while under the care of (another nurse) and then became unwell.

“She told me she had taken over as designated nurse because (the other nurse) did not have her intensive care course qualification.”

Referring to her medical notes, she said Child G had “blood pressure issues” throughout the day and required several infusions plus more antibiotics.

Her observations showed a raised heart rate, the court heard, and the nurse also noted Child G was pale and cold.

The nurse described Child G’s parents as a “loving, caring couple” who were “committed” to the wellbeing of their daughter.

Noting both had been on the unit all day, she wrote: “Understandable very upset and struggling to see her this poorly again. Have looked at 100 day cake and trying to remain positive at this stage.”

In the early hours of 8 September, Child G was moved to Arrowe Park, where she had been born weighing just more than 1lb.

Lucy Letby

Medics suspected sepsis as Child G required ventilation support with 100% oxygen but gradually she improved and was breathing for herself a week later.

Her markers for infection also fell as doctors ruled she was clinically stable and no longer needed specialist care as she was returned to the Countess of Chester on 16 September.

Letby is accused of overfeeding Child G with milk through a nasogastric tube (NGT) and/or injecting air into the tube.

The prosecution says she made two more attempts to murder Child G on 21 September.

In his opening statement to the jury, Ben Myers KC, defending, said Letby did not do anything to contribute to the health problems of Child G, who he said was “extremely premature” and “high risk”.

Letby denies murdering seven babies and trying to murder 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016.