Mother fears child murderer Lucy Letby attacked her newborn baby out of revenge after she made a complaint

18 August 2023, 22:03

A mother has said she fears child murderer Lucy Letby attacked her newborn baby as an act of revenge the day after she made a complaint about the nurse.
A mother has said she fears child murderer Lucy Letby attacked her newborn baby as an act of revenge the day after she made a complaint about the nurse. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A mother has said she fears child murderer Lucy Letby attacked her newborn baby as an act of revenge the day after she made a complaint about the nurse.

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Lynsey Artell complained to hospital staff after Letby - who has been convicted of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others at a hospital neonatal unit - made an "inappropriate" comment about her premature son Asa.

Ms Artell and her husband were discussing how their son was making good progress on the unit when Letby - who had been eavesdropping - said to them: "I don't like parents getting their hopes up because we never know what could happen at this stage."

Ms Artell, who is also a nurse at the hospital, complained to senior staff on the ward.

The next day, Artell left her two-day-old son's bedside to get a coffee and returned to find medical staff gathered around him, drawing the screens.

Her baby had a huge spike in insulin levels and was receiving urgent treatment.

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During Letby's trial, Manchester Crown Court heard she used various ways to harm the babies including poisoning them with insulin.

Ms Artell said she was "furious" when Letby made the comment about her baby.

Speaking to Sky, she added: "This was my seventh pregnancy... she needed to know that that was inappropriate."

The mother complained to hospital staff, and now fears her actions could have motivated Letby to harm her son as an act of revenge.

She continued: "I just thought I don't want to lose another one... I hadn't even held him yet."

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Doctors were able to bring baby Asa around and eventually he was discharged from hospital.

Ms Artell said she never received a satisfactory explanation as to why her son's insulin levels shot up without warning.

After Letby was arrested, Ms Artell contacted police who investigated twice but never brought any charges.

Ms Artell, who worked as a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital, said when medical emergencies occurred colleagues would speculate whether Letby was working.

Police are now reviewing the care of 4,000 babies Letby may have come into contact with at the hospital from January 2012 to the end of June 2016 and two work placements at Liverpool Women's Hospital in 2012 and 2015.

Cheshire Police emphasised that only those cases highlighted as medically concerning would be investigated further and said the review at Liverpool Women's Hospital does not involve any deaths.

Detective Superintendent Paul Hughes, the senior investigating officer in the case, said: "This does not mean we are investigating all 4,000." 

He admitted he could not say how many other active cases there are but added: "There are cases where we've told parents."

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