Children's nurse Lucy Letby 'injected babies with air and insulin' court hears as she denies murdering seven newborns

10 October 2022, 11:14 | Updated: 11 October 2022, 05:43

Lucy Letby pleaded not guilty to the murder of multiple babies during her court appearance
Lucy Letby pleaded not guilty to the murder of multiple babies during her court appearance. Picture: LBC / Alamy

By Stephen Rigley

A court has heard how a children's nurse 'injected babies with air and insulin' – as she stands accused of murdering seven other infants and trying to kill ten more whilst working in an NHS neonatal unit.

Lucy Letby, 32, is alleged to have "deliberately poisoned" two healthy twin babies - a baby boy and a baby girl - on three separate occasions - including two attempts in one day, the court heard.

The nurse is alleged to have undertaken the year-long killing spree between June 2015 and June 2016, while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital neonatal unit in Cheshire.

She now faces 22 charges connected to 17 babies, some of whom she allegedly attempted to murder multiple times.

Letby, of Hereford, pleaded not guilty to each charge at Manchester Crown Court this morning.

Lucy Letby
Lucy Letby. Picture: Shutterstock
Artist illustration of Lucy Letby during her court appearance
Artist illustration of Lucy Letby during her court appearance. Picture: LBC / Alamy

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The nurse is said to have "poisoned" the babies - referred to as Child F and Child L for legal reasons - "deliberately with insulin" as part of her attempted murder spree.

Saved only thanks to the "skill of the medical staff", the court heard how the babies' blood sugar "inexplicably dropped to dangerous levels".

The attacks on the children, who were from two separate sets of twins, took place eight months apart. Both twins survived.

In some cases, it's alleged the nurse took up to three attempts to kill her victim.

With several of the children allegedly poisoned with insulin, one child - known as Baby E - died after Letby reportedly injected him with air.

The court also heard how the injection of air caused what doctors call an air embolus - which can result in strokes or heart attacks.

John and Susan Letby, parents of Lucy Letby, are at Manchester Crown Court for their daughter's murder trial (pictured last week)
John and Susan Letby, parents of Lucy Letby, are at Manchester Crown Court for their daughter's murder trial (pictured last week). Picture: Alamy
An artist's illustration of Lucy Letby in the dock
An artist's illustration of Lucy Letby in the dock. Picture: PA / Alamy

She stands accused of pumping dangerous levels of milk into a number of premature children through a feeding tube into their stomachs.

Nick Johnson KC, who represented the prosecution in court, said: "Sometimes a baby that she succeeded in killing was not killed the first or even second time she tried.

"Babies who had not been unstable at all suddenly severely deteriorated. Sometimes babies who had been sick and then on the mend deteriorated for no apparent reason.

"Having searched for a cause, which they were unable to find, the consultants found the inexplicable collapses and deaths did have one common denominator. The presence of one of the neonatal nurses. That nurse was Lucy Letby."

Letby was surrounded by three members of security staff as she stood up to enter her pleas as her parents John and Susan watched on. Her trial will last up to six months.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of surviving and deceased children allegedly attacked by Letby, and prohibits identifying the parents or witnesses connected with the children.

The trial continues.

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