Lucy Letby timeline: How baby murdering nurse went on killing spree for a year before being caught

18 August 2023, 13:30 | Updated: 18 August 2023, 16:30

Letby has been convicted of killing babies at her hospital
Letby has been convicted of killing babies at her hospital. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Lucy Letby has been found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six more at her hospital.

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The 33-year-old was convicted after a trial that began in October last year, in which she repeatedly denied having deliberately killed a series of children, most of whom were born prematurely.

The nurse, who carried out her killings at the Countess of Chester, is now due to be sentenced.

Her spree began in 2015 and would go on for about a year, with prosecutors saying she would inject her victims with excess air.

This would cause them to collapse and seven died. She was eventually caught after staff suspicions were raised about her connections to an unusual number of deaths and years-long investigations results in her arrest in 2018.

She will now be sentenced for the seven murders and six attempted murders.

Here is the timeline of Lucy Letby's killings.

Read more: Evil nurse Lucy Letby found guilty of murdering seven babies

Read more: 'It will be justice, but it won’t be enough': Parents of twins attacked by Lucy Letby fear their children will be damaged for life

June 8 2015

Child A, who was born aged 31 weeks and taken into intensive care, shows signs of skin discolouration as Letby raises the alarm to doctors.

The baby died in the evening. A pathologist would later conclude the baby had air in his circulation most likely admitted via one of the two tubes attached to his body.

Medical experts agreed the infant was well before his death.

Letby was found guilty of his murder.

June 9 2015

Child B, who was Child A's twin, had recovered after having to be resuscitated after birth but was now not breathing and appeared blue.

A paediatrician suspected the baby could have been injected with air but the child survived after resuscitation.

The child does not appear to have suffered adverse consequences.

Letby was found guilty of Child B's attempted murder.

Lucy Letby has been convicted
Lucy Letby has been convicted. Picture: Alamy

June 14 2015

Child C, who had also been born prematurely, died after suffering cardiac arrest. Letby was accused of injecting air into his stomach via a nose tube which left him unable to breathe.

Letby was the only person in the room when the baby collapsed. He stopped breathing and died.

Letby was found guilty of his murder.

June 22 2015

Baby D, who was believed to be born with an infection, recovered and was doing well but collapsed in the morning.

The infant, which had been crying in distress, died after collapsing for a third time.

Letby is unable to explain why she searched for the baby's parents on Facebook after the death.

Letby was found guilty of the baby's murder.

August 4 2015

The mother of identical twins goes to visit her infant, Baby E, in the hospital's neonatal unit.

Letby was accused of killing a series of babies
Letby was accused of killing a series of babies. Picture: Alamy

The prosecution said Letby was actually "attacking" her baby at the time, injecting her with air into his bloodstream - and she told the mother to leave.

Baby E endured a huge amount of blood loss, during which Letby is accused of making false nursing notes. Baby E died, with Letby's defence saying it is unclear what happened.

The nurse was accused of showing significant interest in the infant's family, and would search for them repeatedly, including on Christmas Day.

Letby was found guilty of Baby E's murder.

Read more: 'You are a murderer': Lucy Letby clashes with prosecutor as he accuses her of misleading jury with 'sob story'

August 5 2015

Baby F, Baby E's twin, was injected by insulin by Letby, the first time she used it to attack a child, the prosecution said.

He suffered a drop in blood sugar levels and his heart rate increased, but he survived.

Letby was found guilty of Baby F's attempted murder, with a unanimous verdict.

September 2015

Letby was accused of trying to kill Baby G three times - once on September 7 and on two occasions on September 21.

She was found guilty of two of the three counts, and not guilty on one.

She was doing well after being born four months early.

But Letby was said to have given her too much milk via a tube and was thought to have also injected her with air.

She was later moved to a different hospital but was then brought back on September 16.

Then, on the 21, Letby was accused of feeding her milk with a nasogastric tube. A monitor that checked on her oxygen and heart rate was switched off.

The baby survived, but has been left severely disabled.

Then, on both September 26 and 27, Baby H collapsed and had to be resuscitated.

The prosecution noted how, as this child - and others - were taken to other hospitals, away from Letby, their condition improved.

Letby was found not guilty on one count of attempted murder of Baby H. The jury did not reach a verdict on the other count of attempted murder.

The babies died at Countess of Chester
The babies died at Countess of Chester. Picture: Alamy

October 23 2015

Baby I was the victim of four murder attempts.

Letby was accused of injecting air into her stomach via a tube in the days leading up to her death.

Experts later concluded she had been injected with a large quantity of air.

The baby girl collapsed and died on October 23. Letby was said to have sent a card to her parents.

Letby was found guilty of her murder.

November 27 2015

Prematurely-born Baby J, who had a bowel disorder, collapsed during Letby's night shift.

Struggling to breathe, the baby's oxygen levels dropped massively and she suffered a seizure. After being resuscitated, she collapsed again.

An expert says her injuries were consistent with her airways being obstructed, possibly through smothering.

No verdict was found on the charge of attempted murder.

February 2016

Letby is interrupted when a doctor walks in after hearing Letby was alone with Baby K, having become aware of the babies' deaths and the link to her.

Letby was standing over the baby's incubator and she told the doctor the baby had just started getting worse.

The baby's breathing tube had become dislodged.

Later, Letby called for help with Baby K, saying the tube was now too far in her throat. The infant was transferred and died at another hospital two days later.

She was accused of attempted murder, not murder. No verdict was found.

April 9 2016

Letby is accused of giving, without authorisation, insulin to Baby L, then injecting Baby M air.

The twin boys survived despite Baby M's heart rate and breathing dropping to serious levels.

But he recovered when the nursing shift changed and he was no longer in Letby's care.

Letby was found guilty of the attempted murder of both.

June 15 2016

Baby N was saved by doctors and nurses after his bloody oxygen levels collapse early in June and experts go on to say he could have received an air injection.

Then, on June 15, as the baby was soon to go home, Letby stopped by saying she wanted to say hello.

But the baby then lost oxygen, and a doctor struggled to get a breathing tube into the child's airwaves due to bleeding.

Baby N collapsed later and the same issue happened - which experts claimed came from the tube being hit into the back of his throat to injure him - but after a transfer to another hospital he recovers fast.

Letby was found guilty on one count of attempted murder of Baby N. The jury did not reach a verdict on two counts of attempted murder.

June 23, 24 and 25 2016

Letby murdered Baby O, a triplet. He had been fine until his condition suddenly worsened that day.

A review of the case found a liver injury from blunt force trauma, effectively an assault, while an expert said the infant had been given too much air.

The next day, Baby P collapses and dies, with experts saying it was most likely a result of injected air affecting his breathing.

Then, on June 25, Baby Q is hurt after allegedly being injected with too much air and suspected water saline. Letby was accused of trying to kill him.

He is transferred to another hospital.

Letby was found guilty of the murder of Baby O and Baby P. The jury did not reach a verdict on the attempted murder of Baby Q.

May 2017

The Countess of Chester announces the independent review into neonatal care at the hospital because of the deaths.

A raft of recommendations are made.

It then goes to Cheshire Constabulary, which launches a probe.

July 2018

Letby is arrested on suspicion of murdering the dead infants.

Police search her home in the Blacon area of Chester.

September 2018

Tony Chambers, the chief executive of the hospital, quits amid the police investigation.

November 2020

Letby is remanded in custody after being charged with murder and attempted murder.

October 2022

Letby's trial begins.