'Maybe this is down to me': Jury shown nurse's handwritten notes found in police search

Credit: Cheshire Police
Lucy Letby's handwritten notes were shown to the jury Credit: Cheshire Police

A nurse accused of killing babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital wrote notes, including the statement "I don't know if I killed them. Maybe I did. Maybe this is down to me" which were found during police searches.

Lucy Letby, 33, was first arrested in July 2018 on suspicion of attacking infants in her care - two years after she worked her last shift at the Countess of Chester Hospital's neonatal unit.

Letby was moved by health chiefs to the hospital's risk and patient safety office after consultants raised concerns about her "common link" to numerous collapses of patients at the unit.

She denies murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016.

A print in her bedroom reads 'Leave Sparkles wherever you go' Credit: Cheshire Police

On Monday, 17 April, jurors were told the defendant was first arrested at her three-bedroom property in Westbourne Road, Chester, at 6am on 3 July 2018.

A distressed Letby wiped away tears as photographs of her bedroom - taken by a crime scene investigator - appeared on screen in court.

On the bedroom walls there were two framed pictures containing the slogans Shine Like A Diamond and Leave Sparkles Wherever You Go.

Women and Children's building at the Countess of Chester hospital. Credit: PA Images

Two teddy bears were positioned on an unmade double bed while among items on the floor were a red suitcase, a large burgundy handbag and a small black handbag, the court heard.

Prosecutor Philip Astbury said three handwritten notes were recovered by police from one of the handbags.

The notes contained closely written words which filled the pages and included declarations of love for a doctor colleague, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Next to his name was "I loved you" and "my best friend".

Also contained in the notes were the words "Help Me", "I Can't Do This Any More" and "How Can Life Be This Way".

Jurors were told that a 2016 diary was recovered from a chest of drawers.

A reference to "twins" was recorded for 8 April, the date of birth for two twin boys the Crown say Letby attempted to murder, the court heard.

On 9 April, a note stating "twin resus" was made.

Further entries on 23, 24 and 25 June included initial letters which the Crown say related to three other babies, including two triplet boys, that Letby allegedly attacked on those dates following her return from a holiday to Ibiza.

Mr Astbury said a green Post-it note, shown to jurors at the start of Letby's trial, was found inside the diary.

Part of the note read "I don't deserve to live. I killed them on purpose because I'm not good enough to care for them", "I am a horrible evil person" and in capital letters "I am evil I did this".

Other notes found included the words "Today is your birthday, but you aren't here and I am so sorry for that".

An A4-size piece of paper containing similarly jumbled handwritten notes was also found in the diary, the court heard.

One sentence read: "I killed them. I don't know if I killed them. Maybe I did. Maybe this is down to me."

The words "kill me" written in bold and circled could also be seen.

A series of handwritten notes found by Cheshire Constabulary Credit: Cheshire Police

Other words appearing on the A4 paper were "foreign objects", "slander", "tired", "crime number", "diagnosis compromised", "risk factors" and, repeatedly, "help me".

In his opening speech, Ben Myers KC, defending, told jurors the Post-it note was the "anguished outpouring of a young woman".

He added Letby was at the time "in fear and despair when she realises the enormity of what's being said about her, in the moment, to herself".

'Help' and 'I'm sorry that you couldn't have a chance at life' can be made out on the post-it note shown to the jury Credit: Cheshire Police

Underneath her bed an Ibiza bag for life was found which contained four shift handover sheets for the dates of 23, 24, 25 and 28 June 2016, the court heard.

Also in the bag was her NHS "registered children's nurse" work badge, jurors heard.

A Morrisons shopping bag recovered from the bedroom contained 31 handover sheets, a blood gas reading for a child she allegedly attacked and a paper towel containing handwritten resuscitation notes.

Searches also took place on 3 July 2018 at Letby's parents' home in Hereford and at the defendant's workplace at the hospital's risk and patient safety office.

An annual leave request form from Letby - covered with untidily written jumbled words - was found in a blue folder of papers during the office search, the court heard.

Hearts were doodled on the form along with random words "Tigger", "Smudge", "Bergerac" and "Help Me".

Notes found in the police search read 'I wanted you to stand by me, but you didn't'. Credit: Cheshire Police

Sentences scrawled across the form included "I trusted you with everything and loved you", "I really can't do this any more, I just want life to be as it was," "I want to be happy in the job that I loved...,. really don't belong anywhere, I'm a problem to those who do know me and it would be much easier for everyone if I just went away".

Letby was re-arrested at her parents' home on 10 June 2019 and 11 November 2020, the court heard.

A search of the garage at the Westbourne Road property on 10 June revealed another handwritten note found in a black bin bag.

Phrases on that note included "killing me softly", "broken hearted" and "no-one will ever know what happened or why".

Six pages of medical notes of children unrelated to the trial were found at her parents' home on the same date.

A total of 257 handover sheets were recovered during searches in the investigation, of which 21 included the names of babies she is alleged to have harmed.

Letby denies all the allegations.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...