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

2 May 2023, 11:05 | Updated: 2 May 2023, 12:54

Lucy Letby is giving evidence in court
Lucy Letby is giving evidence in court. Picture: Alamy/Shutterstock

By Emma Soteriou

Nurse Lucy Letby has broken down in tears while giving evidence in court for the first time, saying "her whole world stopped" when she was arrested.

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The 33-year-old nurse, who is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill ten others, began giving evidence for the first time on Tuesday.

The prosecution says Letby was a "constant malevolent presence" in their care at the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital.

It is said she used various means to target the infants, including injections of air into their system and insulin poisoning.

Describing the first time she was arrested, she got emotional, saying: "There was a loud knocking at the door at six o'clock in the morning. My father was staying with me at that point. He was staying there too."

She said she was told she was being arrested on suspicion of the murder and attempted murder of multiple babies, and was taken to the police station in her pyjamas.

Read more: Lucy Letby 'took picture of sympathy card she sent to parents of baby she allegedly murdered to remember her kind words'

Read more: Nurse Lucy Letby told police it was 'bad luck' that three babies died in two weeks while she was on duty

Lucy Letby previously appearing in the dock at Manchester Crown Court
Lucy Letby previously appearing in the dock at Manchester Crown Court. Picture: Alamy

Ben Meyers KC asked Letby how hard she found it to cope with the situation she is in.

She said it was "very difficult", adding: "Everything about me and about my life, and the hopes I had for the future, everything is just gone."

She said: "My job was my life. My whole world was stopped."

When asked how many babies she cared for at the Countess of Chester hospital, Letby explained: "Probably hundreds."

"Did you ever do anything that was meant to hurt any of them?" asked Mr Meyers.

"No, I only did my best to care for them."

Letby added that she never wanted to hurt any baby she looked after, saying it is "completely against everything that being a nurse is... I'm there to help and to care".

The note looked at in court
The note looked at in court. Picture: Handout

Mr Myers asked: "How did the personal impact feel when a baby died?"

Letby replied: "It was very upsetting, you don't forget things like that. They stay with you."

Mr Meyers also took Letby through some handwritten notes found at her home after her arrest.

She said writing her thoughts down was something she had done all her life.

Asked to explain why she had written 'Not good enough' at the top of one note, Letby said: "That's the overwhelming feeling I had about myself at that point, because the way people had made me feel. I thought I had been incompetent or done something wrong.

"It's just me processing thoughts."

The nurse denies all the offences said to have taken place at the neonatal unit of the hospital.

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