Lucy Letby is accused of “repeated attempts to kill newborns”

Lucy Letby is accused of “repeated attempts to kill newborns”

After a “substantial surge” in infant deaths on an NHS neonatal ward during the time a nurse accused of killing seven newborns and attempting to kill ten more was employed there, police found “a poisoner was at work,” a court heard today.

At the Countess of Chester Hospital in Cheshire, Lucy Letby was referred to be a “continuous malicious presence” who reportedly murdered and wounded several preterm newborns, including twins, during night shifts when parents were less likely to be there.

Two infants, designated Child F and Child L for legal reasons, were “poisoned” by Letby “deliberately with insulin,” according to Nick Johnson KC, who opened the case. They were each assaulted by different sets of twins eight months apart.

Manchester Crown Court was informed that a higher number of infant fatalities and severe illnesses occurred during Letby’s time on the night shift, and that when she switched to the day shift, there were more “inexplicable collapses and deaths.”

Letby, 32, is accused of attempting to murder a newborn boy and a baby girl three times each, twice on the same day.

He said Letby, 32, had a ‘continuous malicious presence’ at the ‘closely regulated’ Chester newborn ward, which witnessed a ‘substantial jump’ in the number of infants dying, and major or catastrophic falls while she was working there, it is said.

Babies who had never been at all unstable suddenly deteriorated dramatically, he added. Babies who had been ill and then recovered might sometimes worsen for no apparent cause.

After looking for a reason, which they were unable to identify, the consultants discovered that the mysterious collapses and fatalities did have a similar factor.

One of the neonatal nurses was there. Lucy Letby was that nurse. The Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit, he said, “is a hospital like so many others in the UK, but unlike many other hospitals in the UK, and unlike many other neo-natal units in the UK, a poisoner was at work.”

She arrived before Manchester Crown Court this morning dressed in a dark blue suit and a black shirt. She is accused of trying to kill 17 infants, some of whom she reportedly did so more than once, on 22 counts. She entered a not guilty plea to every accusation.

In a case that is “likely to elicit an initial emotion of terror,” the judge cautions the jurors to remain “dispassionate.”

All of the allegations are related to newborns, the trial judge, Mr. Justice Goss, informed the selected jurors.

Any worries or trepidations you may have about your participation as jurors in this case. You’ll be worried about what’s going to happen, but only in light of the circumstances and your job.

They shouldn’t worry since other jurors around the nation were deliberating on cases that were of a very severe nature. They would quickly learn the specifics of the case.

The judge added: ‘The case is going to arouse an initial response of dread. It is a component of what makes us human.

You must set aside your emotions in order to calmly, honestly, and dispassionately analyze the data while maintaining your expertise and awareness of human behavior.

Prior to January 2015, the Countess of Chester’s neonatal unit had infant death rates that were equivalent to those of other facilities of a similar kind, according to Mr. Johnson.

However, during the course of the next 18 months or so, there was a noticeable increase in the number of infants dying and major catastrophic collapses.

The advisors employed by the Countess of Chester “noticed these increases and they looked for an explanation.”

The names of the youngsters, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were read out while family members of several of her accused child victims sat in the public gallery and listened.

Her parents John and Susan watched as three security personnel surrounding her as she stepped up to make her appeals.

Her trial might run up to six months and is scheduled to start this afternoon.

As a clerk at Manchester Crown Court read each accusation against Letby, 32, she softly repeated the words “Not guilty.”

She was still, her once-blonde hair falling over her shoulders as she stood motionless in the glass-paneled jail of Court 7.

To hear the case, 14 jurors were sworn in. However, at the hearing of the prosecution’s opening statement, two of them will serve as stand-ins. The trial will then go on with 12 jurors after that stage has been reached.

The indictment claims that she made three attempts to murder one newborn girl and two attempts to kill another. She also made three different attempts to take the life of a newborn boy, including two on the same day.

Letby is facing 15 further attempted murder charges in addition to the seven murder accusations stemming from the treatment of 10 preterm newborns in the hospital’s neonatal section.

All of the alleged killings and attempted killings allegedly occurred between June 2015 and June 2016 within a 12-month period.

John, 76, and Susan, 62, Letby’s parents, watched as the events were transmitted to annex courtrooms where the children’s relatives, members of the press, and broadcast media were present.

The identity of the babies who died or are still alive cannot be revealed by the media due to a court order.

According to a court ruling, it is also unlawful to name the parents or any witnesses who may have been present when the children were allegedly assaulted by Letby.

Baby or Child A through Q will be used to identify the children.

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