Lucy Letby: Neonatal nurse found guilty of murdering newborn babies

  • Watch ITV Granada Reports special programme on the day Lucy Letby is found guilty of murdering newborn babies.

Nurse Lucy Letby has been found guilty of murdering seven newborn babies, and attempting to murder a further six more.

The 33-year-old went on a year-long killing spree while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Cheshire between 2015 and 2016.

Letby, originally from Hereford, was found guilty of 14 of the 22 counts she faced following a 10-month trial, including the murder of five boys and two girls.

She injected air into the babies via their tubes, causing air embolisms and leaving them unable to breathe, as well as over-feeding some.

The nurse was not present in the court room when the final verdicts were delivered.

  • ITV Granada Reports correspondent Mel Barham has the latest on Lucy Letby's conviction from Manchester Crown Court

The jury at Manchester Crown Court also found her guilty of attempting to kill six other babies, including two by poisoning them with insulin.

Letby added unprescribed insulin to a bag, or bags, containing nutrients which were then given to the babies.

In both cases the youngsters, known only as Baby F and Baby L, had hypoglycaemic episodes in which their blood sugar levels dropped dangerously low. Both went on to make full recoveries.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of surviving and deceased children as well as identifying the parents or witnesses connected with the children.

The jury found Letby not guilty of two counts of attempted murder, and could not reach verdicts on six other charges.

The jury deliberated for a total of 110 hours and 26 minutes – with verdicts spread over the 22 days.

Letby was in the courtroom on 8 August when the jury returned its first two guilty verdicts of attempted murder, and then again on 11 August when she was convicted of four murders and another two attempted murders.

However, at the end of the court day on 11 August the defendant did not return to the dock as the jury was sent home for the weekend.

Letby returned to court the following week but her made last appearance in Court Seven on the morning of 16 August when trial judge Mr Justice Goss sent the jury out to continue its deliberations.

More verdicts were returned later that day, in her absence, and again on 17 August when the court heard Letby had indicated to her legal team that she did not intend to return to the dock.

Dr Nigel Scawn, medical director at the Countess of Chester, said the Trust is committed to ensuring that 'lessons continue to be learned'. Credit: PA Images

Letby continued to be produced at court from prison but would not come up from the cells.

Her parents, John and Sue, who had previously attended the trial every day, did not come to court on Friday as the trial ended.

Letby has also indicated she does not wish to follow Monday’s sentencing hearing via videolink from prison, the court was told.

The reasons for her non-attendance have not yet been disclosed by the judge.

An independent inquiry will be held into the case of Lucy Letby to examine “the circumstances surrounding the deaths and incidents, including how concerns raised by clinicians were dealt with”, the Department of Health said.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: “I would like to send my deepest sympathy to all the parents and families impacted by this horrendous case.

“This inquiry will seek to ensure the parents and families impacted get the answers they need.

"I am determined their voices are heard, and they are involved in shaping the scope of the inquiry should they wish to do so.

“Following on from the work already underway by NHS England, it will help us identify where and how patient safety standards failed to be met and ensure mothers and their partners rightly have faith in our healthcare system.”

  • Police bodycam footage shows Lucy Letby being arrested at her home in Chester on 3 July 2018

Never-before-seen footage has been released showing the moment killer nurse Lucy Letby was first arrested back in 2018.

Letby was found guilty of murdering seven newborn babies and attempting to murder a further seven babies between 2015 and 2016 while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Cheshire.

In the video, captured on police bodycam, the 33-year-old, from Hereford, is seen being escorted from her home in Chester and into a car.

Following the convictions the former Medical Director at the Countess of Chester Hospital called for the inquiry - which has now been instigated by the Health Secretary.

Ian Harvey said: “At this time, my thoughts are with the babies whose treatment has been the focus of the trial and with their parents and relatives who have been through something unimaginable and I am sorry for all their suffering.

“As Medical Director, I was determined to keep the baby unit safe and support our staff.

"I wanted the reviews and investigations carried out, so that we could tell the parents what had happened to their children.

“I believe there should be an inquiry that looks at all events leading up to this trial and I will help it in whatever way I can.”

In 2015, Letby became qualified to care for the sickest babies in the high-dependency and intensive care nurseries.

The MP for the City of Chester also backed the calls for a full independent inquiry into the circumstances of Letby's crimes.

Sam Dixon MP said: "The families that have endured this unimaginable suffering deserve to know exactly what happened, and those who use our NHS services need the reassurance that it can never happen again.

"That’s why, today, I have written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, asking for a full, independent and public inquiry into this case.

"Too many people now live with the consequences of the catastrophic harm caused by Letby.

"An attempt on a child’s life is one of the most depraved acts a person can commit. And the death of a child is the hardest burden to bear.

"Following today’s verdict, the time is right to seek the reassurance that no one could ever again perpetrate crimes as hideous as these.

"The families whose children were killed and harmed, the community I represent and families across the country need to know their children are protected and safe.

"The Government should now institute a full, independent and public inquiry into the circumstances in which these crimes were perpetrated."

Lucy Letby in a police interview in 2018. Credit: Cheshire Constabulary

Dr Nigel Scawn, medical director at the Countess of Chester, said the Trust is committed to ensuring that 'lessons continue to be learned'.

He said: “We would like to extend our thanks to Cheshire Police for their extensive investigation and the work they did to bring this case to trial.

“We would also like to thank them for the comprehensive support that they have provided to all the families involved.

“Since Lucy Letby worked at our hospital, we have made significant changes to our services and I want to provide reassurance to every patient that may access our services that they can have confidence in the care that they will receive.

“Finally, and most importantly, our thoughts are with all the families and loved ones at this very difficult time."

In a statement outside court, the Crown Prosecution Service said Letby "perverted her learning and weaponised her craft to inflict harm, grief and death".

Pascale Jones, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Complex Casework Unit of CPS Mersey Cheshire said: "Lucy Letby was entrusted to protect some of the most vulnerable babies.

"Little did those working alongside her know that there was a murderer in their midst.

"She did her utmost to conceal her crimes, by varying the ways in which she repeatedly harmed babies in her care.

"She sought to deceive her colleagues and pass off the harm she caused as nothing more than a worsening of each baby’s existing vulnerability.

"In her hands, innocuous substances like air, milk, fluids - or medication like insulin - would become lethal.

"She perverted her learning and weaponised her craft to inflict harm, grief and death.

"Time and again, she harmed babies, in an environment which should have been safe for them and their families.

"Parents were exposed to her morbid curiosity and her fake compassion. Too many of them returned home to empty baby rooms.

"Many surviving children live with permanent consequences of her assaults upon their lives.

"Her attacks were a complete betrayal of the trust placed in her.

"My thoughts are with families of the victims who may never have closure, but who now have answers to questions which had troubled them for years.”

Lucy Letby is the worst child serial killer in modern UK crime history. Credit: Facebook

Liverpool Women's Hospital has said it is investigating Letby's time working there whilst she was a student.

Liverpool Women's Hospital said: "There is an ongoing investigation relating to the full period of Lucy Letby’s career, including training placements at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, which took place between October – December 2012 and January – February 2015.

"Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust has been liaising with Cheshire Police throughout this investigation and we will continue to do so going forward.

"As this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide any more information at this time. Any further details will be shared by Cheshire Police in due course."

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