Lucy Letby ‘tried to murder baby after doctor's bid to remove her from duties refused'

A court's been told Lucy Letby allegedly tried to murder a baby after a hospital boss refused to remove her from nursing duties.

A senior paediatrician at the Countess of Chester Hospital told an executive that he and his consultant colleagues were “not happy” with the defendant continuing to work on the neo-natal unit.

Countess of Chester Neonatal Unit Credit: CPS/Cheshire Constabularly

Dr Stephen Brearey said he raised the matter with nursing chief Karen Rees following the deaths of two brothers on successive days in June 2016.

The prosecution say the infants, Childs O and P, were the 15th and 16th victims of Letby, 33, who denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016.

The incident is alleged to have taken place at the Countess of Chester hospital. Credit: PA Images

On Tuesday, Dr Brearey, head consultant on the unit, told Manchester Crown Court he held a staff debrief following the deaths of Childs O and P on 23 June and 24 June.

Nurse Letby was present at the debrief, he said, and he asked her how she was feeling.

Dr Brearey said: “I can remember suggesting to her she would need the weekend off to recover from the traumatic events.

“She didn’t seem overly upset in the debrief, or upset at all, and she told me she was on shift the next day, which was a Saturday.

“I was concerned about this because we had already expressed our concerns to senior management about the association with nurse Letby and the deaths we had seen on the unit.

“So, following the staff debrief, I phoned the duty executive on call, Karen Rees, senior nurse in the urgent care division.

“She was familiar with our concerns already. I explained what had happened and I didn’t want nurse Letby to come back to work the following day or until this was all investigated properly.

“Karen Rees said ‘no’ to that and that there was no evidence.

“I put it to her was she happy to take responsibility for this decision in view of the fact that myself and my consultant colleagues all wouldn’t be happy with nurse Letby going to work the following day.

“She responded she was happy to take that responsibility.

“We had further conversations with executives the following week and action was taken.”

The trial is being held at Manchester Crown Court. Credit: PA Images

On Saturday 25 June, Letby is accused of attempting to murder Child Q during a day shift by injecting him with air.

Letby, originally from Hereford, denies all the allegations.