Nurse Lucy Letby, who worked at Countess of Chester Hospital in England, was arrested in 2018 and again in 2019 on suspicion of murder and attempted murder of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit.
In 2020, she was charged with eight counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder. Letby’s trial started in October 2022 and is expected to last for six months.
The investigation began when the hospital noticed a high mortality rate among infants in 2015 and 2016. The hospital stopped accepting premature infants born before 32 weeks and called for independent reviews to identify the cause of the increase in deaths. Despite investigations, no single cause was found.
Who is Lucy Letby?
Letby, a registered nurse, worked at the hospital from 2011 to 2016 and was appointed as the designated nurse for several babies during the period of high mortality rates. She was arrested after a year-long investigation into the deaths. The police searched her home but found no evidence of harm to patients at another hospital where she had worked.
Letby was released on bail after her first arrest and was later arrested again with additional charges. In November 2020, she was charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. She pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During the trial, the prosecution presented evidence suggesting Letby had injected air into the bloodstream of some victims and used insulin to murder others. Witnesses testified about Letby’s behavior and alleged remarks she made. Letby’s defense lawyer argued that she was a dedicated nurse and blamed systemic failures for the deaths.
The court was shown text messages sent by Letby expressing sadness for the parents’ loss. Doctors testified about concerns they had raised regarding Letby’s actions but were told not to make a fuss by hospital management.
On the fourth day of the trial, the prosecution presented an alleged confession note from Letby, where she admitted to deliberately killing the infants. The defense argued that the note was written out of fear and despair during a difficult time of employment issues.
The trial is ongoing, and Letby faces charges of murder and attempted murder.