Lucy Letby accuses doctors of conspiracy to blame her for babies' deaths as she denies collecting children's documents

18 May 2023, 14:02 | Updated: 18 May 2023, 14:11

Lucy Letby has accused her colleagues of engaging in a conspiracy to blame her for the babies' deaths
Lucy Letby has accused her colleagues of engaging in a conspiracy to blame her for the babies' deaths. Picture: Shutterstock/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Lucy Letby has claimed doctors at the hospital where she worked as a nurse have conspired to blame her for the deaths of babies she is accused of murdering.

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Ms Letby, 33, is accused of murdering seven babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital's neo-natal unit between 2015 and 2016.

She denies the murders, and trying to murder ten other babies.

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Ms Letby told Manchester Crown Court on Thursday that a "gang of four" doctors blamed her for the deaths "to cover up failings at the hospital".

Prosecutor Nick Johnson asked her how she felt about her former colleagues during cross-examination.

Mr Johnson went on to ask Ms Letby if she felt there was a "conspiracy" against her, she agreed.

"Who is in the conspiracy group?," Mr Johnson asked.

She named Ravi Jayaram, Stephen Brearey, John Gibbs and another doctor who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Asked what the conspiracy was, Letby she said the four doctors had "apportioned blame onto me".

Read more: Lucy Letby wrote 'I killed them' in notes at home, baby murder trial jury hears

She added that she believed they conspired against her "to cover up things at the hospital."

Letby also denied that she had got "a thrill" from photographing a sympathy card that she and colleagues sent to the parents of a baby girl she is accused of murdering.

Lucy Letby is accused of murdering seven babies and trying to murder ten more
Lucy Letby is accused of murdering seven babies and trying to murder ten more. Picture: Alamy

Letby is said to have killed the baby in question - named as Child I - at the fourth attempt.

The trial heard that she took a picture on her phone of a sympathy card she wrote to be passed to colleagues attending the child's funeral.

Prosecutor Mr Johnson said: "You took a picture of a card, addressed to the parents of a child who had died in dreadful circumstances, at the place where she died."

Read more: Lucy Letby photographed thank you card from parents of two alleged victims as 'something to remember', court hears

Letby said: "The place is insignificant. My usual behaviour is to photograph things that I send or receive."

Mr Johnson asked: "Did it give you a bit of a thrill to photograph it at the place where this poor unfortunate child died?"

Lucy Letby is accused of murdering the babies at the  Countess of Chester Hospital
Lucy Letby is accused of murdering the babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Picture: Getty

Letby replied: "Absolutely not."

Jurors have also been told that following her arrest a total of 257 shift handover sheets - some including the names of babies she allegedly harmed - were found at her then home in Chester and her parents' address in Hereford.

One sheet found "in pristine condition" at her address in Westbourne Road, Chester, was dated June 1 2010 - her first day of work as a student at the neonatal unit.

Mr Johnson asked: "Did you have a keepsafe box with roses on it at Westbourne Road?"

Read more: Lucy Letby tells murder trial that baby boy's death at start of her shift was a 'huge unexpected shock'

Read more: ‘I did my best to care for them’: Nurse accused of murdering seven babies gives evidence for the first time

"Yes," said Letby.

Mr Johnson said: "What was in the keepsafe box?"

Letby said: "I can't recall from memory."

Mr Johnson said: "One of the things in that box was that handover sheet, wasn't it?"

Letby said: "I don't have any recollection where the handover sheets were."

Mr Johnson said: "How does it differ from all the other handover sheets?"

Lucy Letby
Lucy Letby. Picture: Shutterstock

Letby said: "It doesn't have any writing on it."

Mr Johnson said: "And it doesn't have any folds in it. It's in pristine condition."

Letby agreed.

Mr Johnson went on: "Some 99 handover sheets from your home as a student."

Letby said: "I wouldn't know."

Mr Johnson said: "You have not been prepared to tell the truth about these handover sheets, have you?"

Letby said: "The truth is what I have told you."

The defendant previously told the jury of eight women and four men that the sheets "inadvertently come home with in my uniform pocket".

Police found 31 handover sheets in a Morrisons bag - her work bag - under her bed.

Mr Johnson asked: "Why put them in the bag at all?"

Letby said: " I can't recall. They are just pieces of paper to me."

Mr Johnson said: "You are not telling the truth, are you?"

Letby said: "I am."

Nurse Lucy Letby
Nurse Lucy Letby. Picture: Alamy

Mr Johnson said: "Why don't you want to tell the truth?"

Letby said: "That is the truth. They have no meaning to me at all. I have copious pieces of paper and cards that I have not thrown away my whole life."

Also discovered in police searches was a blood gas reading of a baby boy, Child M, who she allegedly attempted to murder.

Mr Johnson reminded Letby that a nursing colleague who took the measurement had told the court she would have disposed of the printout in the unit's confidential waste bin.

The prosecutor asked: "When did you fish it out of the bin?"

Lucy Letby pleaded not guilty to seven counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder
Lucy Letby pleaded not guilty to seven counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder. Picture: Supplied

Letby said: "I never fished anything out of the confidential bin."

Mr Johnson said: "How did you get it?"

Letby said: "I can't recall specifically."

Mr Johnson said: "It was for your little collection, wasn't it Lucy Letby?"

"No," replied the defendant.

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