Lucy Letby 'accepted' police were coming for her, says top cop who made arrest of killer nurse

21 August 2023, 07:40 | Updated: 21 August 2023, 08:11

Police investigating Lucy Letby believe the killer nurse may have harmed dozens more infants at two north-west hospitals, it has been reported.
Police investigating Lucy Letby believe the killer nurse may have harmed dozens more infants at two north-west hospitals, it has been reported. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

A police chief has described the moment Lucy Letby was arrested, saying the killer nurse seemed like she had ‘accepted’ the fact police would be coming for her.

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Letby, 33, was convicted on Friday of murdering seven babies and the attempted murder of six more during shifts at the Countess of Chester Hospital between 2015 and 2016.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Detective Superintended Paul Hughes said: “She was emotionless, she cooperated, she answered the questions.

“It was surprising – this was someone who had never been involved with police before in her life.

“She’s arrested for eight murders and six attempted murders and brought into custody. At no point did she appear to be struggling with anything. She was quiet, she wasn’t obstructive, she dealt with everything, she was controlled.”

Paul Hughes (right) said Letby was 'emotionless' when she was arrested
Paul Hughes (right) said Letby was 'emotionless' when she was arrested. Picture: Alamy

“There was no banging on the table, at no point did she say: ‘You’re saying these babies have been killed. I cared for these babies, go and find the killer, it’s not me’.

“There was very much an acceptance that we were going to come and knock on her door at some point.”

After the sentencing, he said: “Turning up at the home of a family who have lost a baby, grieved for their loss and are trying to move on from that is difficult enough, but having to tell them that someone who was meant to be caring for their little one could ultimately be responsible for their death - is not an easy task.”

Police investigating Letby believe she may have harmed dozens more infants at two north-west hospitals.

A source told the Guardian that detectives have identified 30 other potential Letby victims at the Countess of Chester Hospital where she worked when she murdered seven babies - with suspicious injuries reported when the baby killer was on shift.

Police are also looking into the serial killer's time at Liverpool Women's Hospital.

If these infants, who all survived, were all harmed by Letby, her total number of victims could reach as high as 47.

Letby is suspected to have harmed more than 30 other tots while at Countess of Chester Hospital
Letby is suspected to have harmed more than 30 other tots while at Countess of Chester Hospital. Picture: Getty

Letby will be sentenced after the marathon 10-month trial at Manchester Crown Court tomorrow, though she is not expected to leave her cell to attend court.

The probe comes as hospital bosses are said to be "in denial" over their role in allowing the killer nurse Lucy Letby to continue her murderous spree, as calls for a public inquiry grow.

Speaking on whether the Countess of Chester Hospital had questions to answer following the verdict, consultant paediatrician Dr Dewi Evans concluded: "I think they're still in denial to be honest with you. I think they failed."

It follows the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) calling for reform of the NHS disciplinary system, adding NHS whistleblowers are "treated like the problem".

Dr Evans gave expert evidence in court as part of the nurse's 10-month trial, looking into cases of babies who had died unexpectedly under her care.

Letby could receive a whole life sentence tomorrow
Letby could receive a whole life sentence tomorrow. Picture: Getty

He highlighted that two previous investigations had been organised by hospital management prior to his involvement, however, the consultants and nurses involved were "not allow the clinical notes" of the babies who had fallen ill.

It comes as the lawyers representing the families of two of Lucy Letby’s victims said the proposed government inquiry was wholly “inadequate”.

The legal team also called for the compulsion of witnesses to testify under oath, after health secretary Steve Barclay ordered the investigation.

The medical expert added that the "smoking gun" in the case came following the deaths of two babies in Letby's care, leaving him in "no doubt" the infants had been "poisoned" with insulin.

Police are also looking into the serial killer's time at Liverpool Women's Hospital which also saw Letby working there.
Police are also looking into the serial killer's time at Liverpool Women's Hospital which also saw Letby working there. Picture: Getty

Speaking with Sky News following her conviction, he added: "That is not a matter for doctors, that is a matter for the police and other organisations."

It follows the news that the mother of a baby who was left in Lucy Letby’s care has said she and her husband were afraid to leave their son with her after he unexpectedly collapsed.

Speaking to LBC exclusively, an anonymous mother said "gut instinct" left her feeling uneasy around Lucy Letby, who was working in the same neonatal unit her baby was being kept in.

The mother said her son was born prematurely after she had a C-section before he was swiftly moved to the unit, which he spent three weeks in.

Asked about how she felt about Letby at the time, she said: “Honestly, I was afraid to leave my baby with her. I didn’t have any reason why other than an absolute gut instinct.

“It’s nothing I’ve ever felt with anybody ever and certainly nothing that I felt with any of the other nurses on that unit - but I didn’t want to leave my baby with her.”

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