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

17 April 2023, 22:31 | Updated: 18 April 2023, 08:25

Lucy Letby has been accused of murdering seven babies
Lucy Letby has been accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder ten more. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

A nurse accused of murdering seven babies wrote notes reading "I killed them on purpose because I am not good enough", a jury has heard.

Former neonatal nurse Lucy Letby, 33, is on trial for seven counts of murder and 10 counts of attempted murder at Manchester Crown Court relating to her work at Countess of Chester Hospital.

The jury in the trial heard that police found several pages of notes with the words written on them, weeks after they also heard that authorities had found a note which read "I am evil" and "I did this" in the Hereford-born nurse's home.

Ms Letby faces 22 charges in total relating to incidents in 2015 and 2016.

A further note read: "I can't do this anymore".

Among the scrawlings shown to the court was incoherent half-sentences including the words: "slander", "discrimination" and "I haven't done anything wrong".

The notes were found in Ms Letby's house when she was initially arrested on July 3, 2018.

notes found at Lucy Letby's home
Notes found at Lucy Letby's home. Picture: CPS

In the raid, Ms Letby's diary, medical records of the babies involved in the case, and the former nurse's NHS name badge.

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Upon further examination, authorities also found more notes in a bin bag in Ms Letby's garage which also included fragmented language including the words and phrases such as "appropriate workforce", "consultant", "Countess of Chester Hospital", "equality" and "diversity".

Ms Letby had written: "No-one will ever know what happened and why I am a failure", the court heard.

She also wrote "I don't think I can ever go back too much has happened/changed" and "killing me softly" featured at least twice in the notes submitted to the court.

Searches of the Countess of Chester Hospital on July 3, 2018 were also detailed to the jury during the latest part of the trial.

In the search, folders of paper including an annual leave request slip with phrases like "I trusted you with everything and loved you", "you were my best friend" and "please help me" in reference to a doctor who cannot be named for legal reasons.

In one section of the paperwork, Ms Letby wrote: "I am a problem to those who do know me and it would be much easier for everyone if I just went away".

Lucy Letby
Lucy Letby is on trial accused of murdering seven babies. Picture: Alamy
Letby is on trial for seven counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder at Manchester Crown Court
Letby is on trial for seven counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder at Manchester Crown Court. Picture: Getty

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Earlier, the court were told that Letby was interrupted by the mother of one of her victims who paid her baby boy a visit at the neonatal unit.

Child E's mother told the court that she did not realise he was being attacked and was told by the nurse the blood from his mouth was due to a tube.

The baby was acutely distressed and bleeding from his mouth and Letby tried to reassure his mother that the blood was due to a tube irritating his throat.

Jurors heard she said to the mother: "Trust me, I'm a nurse."

Following child E's death, the Crown heard how Letby made "fraudulent" nursing notes which were "false, misleading and designed to cover her tracks".

The court also heard how Letby went on to show a "very unusual interest" in child E's family.

Nick Johnson KC noted social media searches of the family two days after the youngster's death, and again on numerous occasions in the following months, including "even on Christmas Day".

The court was previously told Letby killed another five-day-old boy in intensive care by injecting air into his stomach through a nose tube.

A court artist sketch of Lucy Letby from a previous hearing. She is set to stand trial in a year
Lucy Letby (sketched at a previous appearance) pleaded not guilty to all charges. Picture: Alamy

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She allegedly killed the baby boy, child C, just six days after murdering for the first time, when she killed another baby boy, child A, and days later attacked his twin sister, child B, while working at the neo-natal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Child C died because the air injected into his stomach made him unable to breathe and he suffered a cardiac arrest, Nick Johnson KC, told the jury on the second day of the prosecution opening at Manchester Crown Court.

The boy had been born prematurely at 30 weeks on June 10, 2015, weighing only 800 grams, but despite going into intensive care was in good condition.

Five days later, on the nightshift of June 14, Letby was supposed to be looking after another, more poorly baby, in another room.

But she was the only person in the room when Child C suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed.

Prosecutor Mr Johnson said: "Again, taking a step back, you can now see there was a pattern emerging.

"Lucy Letby was the only person working on the night shift when child C died who had also been working on either of the shifts when child A died and his twin sister child B collapsed.

"What we are going to see, as we progress, is that Lucy Letby's method of attacking the babies in the neo-natal unit was beginning to develop.

"She had injected air into the bloodstream of the first twins, child A and B, and varied this approach by injecting air into child C's stomach via the nasogastric tube."

Lucy Letby is accused of murdering the babies while working as a neo-natal nurse at Countess of Chester Hospital
Lucy Letby is accused of murdering the babies while working as a neo-natal nurse at Countess of Chester Hospital. Picture: Getty

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Mr Johnson said an independent pathologist - when reviewing the case - concluded Child C died because his breathing became compromised and he suffered a cardiac arrest.

The prosecutor told jurors: "If you are trying to murder a child in a neo-natal unit, it is a fairly effective way of doing it. It doesn't really leave much trace."

He said on the afternoon of June 14, 2015 - hours after Child C died - the defendant searched on Facebook for the youngster's parents.

Mr Johnson suggested from the timings that this was "one of the first things she did when waking up" after she had earlier finished her shift at about 8am.

Letby denies seven counts of murder and 10 counts of attempted murder.

The trial continues