Jurors heard how the doctor discovered the newborn’s breathing tube had been dislodged and “realised the similarity between the mysterious deaths” and her presence. Lucy Letby was allegedly attempting to murder the infant when the doctor entered the room.
A paediatric specialist named Dr. Ravi Jayaram assisted in the delivery of Child K, who was born at the Countess of Chester Hospital on February 17, 2016, at the gestational age of 25 weeks and weighing just 692g. She was admitted to Letby’s neo-natal unit because doctors believed she was in the best condition imaginable for a baby born so early.
Dr. Jayaram was at the nurses station at the nurses station putting up his notes regarding the delivery around 90 minutes later, while plans were being made for the baby’s transfer to a more specialized hospital on Merseyside. The jury heard that while he was aware Letby was alone with the infant, he was unable to look inside room one, where Child K was.
The prosecution’s Nick Johnson KC told the jury that Dr. Jayaram wanted to find out where Lucy Letby was and how Child K was doing because he had begun to observe the correlation between the mysterious deaths, major breakdowns, and the presence of Lucy Letby.
He entered room one and saw Letby observing the incubator housing kid K. Dr. Jayaram could see that kid K’s oxygen saturation level was dangerously low, hovering in the 80s, even though she did not have her hands inside the incubator thanks to the monitor mounted on the wall.
However, despite kid K’s oxygen levels dropping, the alarm was not blaring as it should have, and Lucy Letby did not contact for assistance. She allegedly attempted to murder Child K as Dr. Jayaram entered.
Letby returned to Child K’s crib later that morning at 7:30 and again requested assistance, the court was informed. She was helping the infant breathe when it was discovered that kid K’s breathing tube had once again become stuck too deep down her neck. Later that day, Child K was sent to a different hospital, where he remained ill and passed away two days later. Letby is not charged with killing her.
According to testimony given in court, one independent medical expert believed it was “extremely probable” the breathing tube was deliberately removed, and another did not think “accidental or innocent dislodgement” was a likely cause.
When questioned by authorities, Letby said that she had first been waiting to see whether kid K would correct herself when Dr. Ravi Jayaram entered the room because “we don’t generally act right away if they weren’t critically low” in oxygen.
Given how preterm the infant was, a nursing specialist, according to Mr. Johnson, said Letby’s justification for postponing intervention “didn’t wash.”
Letby listened today as the prosecution presented an accusation of murder against Child I, two of attempted murder against Child H, and two more of attempted murder against Child J and Child K while she sat in the dock wearing a black jacket.
Child I’s situation was deemed by Mr. Johnson to be “an extreme example even by the criteria of this entire case.”
Child I was sent to another hospital after Letby’s third claimed attempt on her life, where she made a remarkable recovery. The baby required cardiac compressions after being placed back in Letby’s care, the court was told. Letby is said to have used a nasogastric tube to put air into Child I’s stomach on prior occasions.
Baby I was born extremely prematurely and little, but by the time Lucy Letby got her hands on her, she had made it through the first two months of life and was doing well, according to Mr. Johnson.
She was led to a separate room after Child I passed away and asked whether her parents wanted to wash her. According to Mr. Johnson, Letby entered the room while the mother of the infant was giving her recently deceased kid a bath and was “smiling and continued going on about how she was there for Child I’s first bath and how much Child I had liked it.”
Later, the nurse sent the parents a condolence card, which was “not customary.” She admitted to authorities that this was the only time she had ever done it, but said that it was unusual for nurses to get to know a family as well as they had known Child I’s. She confessed to the police that she had a picture of the card stored on her phone.
According to Mr. Johnson, it is “very noteworthy” that kids who were around Lucy Letby often and repeatedly had inexplicable breakdowns.
It is noteworthy that on several instances when youngsters who had had unanticipated dramatic and life-threatening collapses were withdrawn from her orbit, they had outstanding recoveries. Sometimes the proof of her hand at work is more clear than others.
Letby is being supported by her parents, Susan and John, throughout her six-month trial at Manchester Crown Court.
As Letby’s trial enters its third day, the following testimony has been heard at Manchester Crown Court:
Letby, 32, denies killing seven preterm newborns and trying to kill another 10 during a 12-month period.
Between June 2015 and June 2016, the Countess of Chester Hospital saw the fatalities.
Three years after Baby A, her first claimed victim, passed away, Letby was taken into custody;
ICU nurse allegedly killed infants by pumping milk, insulin, or air into them during night shifts when parents were less likely to be there;
Letby reportedly targeted twins on many occasions; in certain instances, one twin was killed while the other one lived;
According to reports, she looked for the parents of her accused victims on Facebook and other social media, even on Christmas Day;
Letby is accused of attempting to murder Baby G up to three times in certain instances, including twice in one shift;
After one kid died, the nurse reportedly sent her parents a condolence letter while “smiling,” which was “not typical”;
A paediatric specialist claimed to have seen Letby attempting to murder a kid on another occasion;
The hearing’s first witness, Nick Johnson, KC, described Letby’s claimed initial attempt to murder Child H while she was the baby’s assigned nurse.
According to the prosecution, Child H received a dosage of morphine at 1.25am and a dose of saline at 2.50am according to the ICU record.
The infant’s oxygen levels were “pretty steady” throughout the day shift, but the next night, between 22.53 pm and 3.30 am, they started to sharply decline.
Letby wasn’t her assigned nurse at the time, but the nurse who did subsequently said she couldn’t remember whether she had taken a break during the shift but was certain that she had left the room at least sometimes.
He continued by describing Letby’s “strange Facebook searches” after the occurrences.
He said in court that approximately a week after Child H’s second breakdown, at about 1.15 am, she looked for Child H’s mother, the father of Child H’s twins, E and F, and Child I’s mother within about three minutes.
She was taking a day off at the time.
When introducing the Baby I case, Mr. Johnson stated: “We say Lucy Letby attempted to murder Baby I on four different occasions.
She fought back, but in the end, Lucy Letby was able to murder her on the fourth try.
On August 7, 2015, Baby I was delivered at Liverpool Women’s Hospital weighing 970 grams. On August 18, she was given to the Countess of Chester.
The baby was eight weeks old on September 29 and the clinical worries regarding her had subsided.
She was being fed through bottles and a tube and had no breathing issues. She was also gaining weight and was “in air.”
Letby was Baby I’s assigned nurse and she started a 12-hour shift at 8 a.m.
She was working that shift with G and H despite having two other infants in Room 3 to care for.
Letby reportedly showed some worry to Baby I’s mother and said the child will be examined by a physician.
When she wrote the required letter, Letby claimed that Baby I’s mother had expressed worry about her belly, writing, “Mum believes it is more swollen than yesterday and that I am quiet…not on monitor but zero increased effort of breathing.”
Was Lucy Letby attempting to hide what she was about to do, he queried the jurors.
At 4 o’clock she fed the infant via the NGT 35ml of extracted breast milk. An emergency “crash call” was sent thirty minutes later.
Baby I was having trouble breathing, had vomited, was desaturated, and her heart rate had plummeted. Before being transferred to Room 1, her airway had to be cleaned and she required breathing assistance.
Her lungs seemed “squashed” and had a little capacity, while X-rays showed that her stomach and colon were stuffed full of gas. The prosecution claimed that the baby’s stomach had been given an injection of air.
The emergency subsided, but according to the baby’s medical records, Letby changed her glucose infusion and gave her a saline injection.
“Baby I quickly started to decay once again. But as I’ve already said, Baby I was strong, and her condition improved over night.
Following that, the infant had a time of such steadiness that she did not even need a monitor.
Baby I was healthy and receiving bottle feedings every four hours in the early morning hours of October 13. Around three in the morning, her assigned nurse requested Letby and another staff member to keep an eye out for the baby while she quickly departed the room.
She went back to Room 2 at at 3.20 a.m., and Lucy Letby was standing in the doorway, Mr. Johnson said. Because it being night, the room was dim. But Lucy Letby informed her that Baby I appeared pale as soon as she entered the room.
The second nurse saw that Baby I looked to be near death and was not breathing when she switched on the light.
When she gave it some consideration, she reasoned that possibly I was breathing at least once every 20 seconds; otherwise, the apnea alert would have gone off.
You may want to think about how Lucy Letby was able to tell that I was pale from the entrance of a room with poor lighting, Mr. Johnson remarked, turning to the jury.
And you may want to take into account the chance that someone could have turned off or hushed the alarm.
The third event took place on October 14 when Baby I had desaturation brought on by abdominal gas. She needed to be revived once again. At 7:48 in the morning, she was “brought back from the edge of death.”
Therefore, I encountered the identical issue that she experienced before, stated Mr. Johnson. “And there she was again, her assigned nurse, Lucy Letby. Same nurse, same issue; issue doesn’t exist when she isn’t around.
On October 15, Baby I was moved to Arrowe Park, where she immediately stabilized before being sent back to Letby’s hospital on October 17.
On October 23, just after midnight, Baby I started to feel uneasy. The baby required cardiac compressions when Letby and the authorized nurse arrived at the scene.
They summoned in both an on-call registrar and an on-call consultant. The latter noted that her trunk and edges had a splotchy blue look. The infant’s saturation rate increased to 100% after five minutes of CPR.
The doctors described the huge intestinal dilatation shown on an x-ray as a “big stomach bubble.” Baby I was revived and made a complete recovery.
The baby’s assigned nurse briefly left the nursery around 1.06 am, but she soon returned after hearing the alert. She went back to the incubator to visit Letby.
The nurse wanted to step in after seeing the baby was in a lot of suffering. However, Letby reassured her that they could calm the infant.
Then, Mr. Johnson said, “Baby I passed out,” adding, “This interaction foreshadows what was to happen when Child O passed out a few months later.”
The resuscitation efforts were directed by the same on-call registrar who came at 1.12am. At 1.25 am, the registrar joined her and saw purple and white mottling.
All attempts at resuscitation were futile, according to Mr. Johnson, and treatment was stopped at 2.10 a.m. On October 23, at 2.30 am, “Baby I was proclaimed dead.”
The infant’s parents were moved to a private room right away after she passed away. It was suggested to the mother that she give her daughter a bath.
According to the mother, Lucy Letby entered the room while she was giving a bath to her newly departed kid and was “smiling and continued going on about how she was there for Baby I’s first bath and how much Baby I had liked it.”
Upon autopsy, it was discovered that the infant’s intestinal loops were been substantially dilated owing to an increase in air content. In simple words, they had grown like a half filled balloon, according to Mr. Johnson.
The specialist pediatrician afterwards consulted by Cheshire Police, Dr. Dewi Evans, expressed his belief that the apnoea monitor must have been tampered with or turned off.
Additionally, he thought she had received an IV bolus of air about midnight on October 22–23. Mr. Johnson stated, “In support of it, he refers to Baby I wailing — followed soon by her fall.”
Letby sent the parents a condolence card, the court was informed.
She said that sending a card wasn’t customary and that it had never been done before, but added that it wasn’t often that nurses got to know a family as well as they had known Baby I’s.
She acknowledged that she had a picture of the card stored on her phone. She denied using the NGT to broadcast to Baby I.
She disputed her colleague’s description of Baby I collapsing in the pitch-black room, saying that she could have “seen something that she wasn’t able to detect” because of her greater expertise.
“Baby, I was born very early and extremely little,” Mr. Johnson reportedly told the jurors. But by the time Lucy Letby got her hands on her, she had made it through the first two months of her life and was healthy.
“What happened to Baby?” I behaved in a manner consistent with what had previously occurred to others and what would hereafter occur to others. Vomiting, respiratory issues, and significant desaturations appeared out of the blue.
The first incident involved vomiting, which was followed by a lot of air and some milk; the second involved Letby being seen “coolly watching Baby I who was in crisis”; the third involved the baby pumping with air; and the fourth involved the designated nurse responding to the alarm and finding Letby standing over her.
Mr. Johnson described it as relentless, methodical, and cold-blooded.
At 32 weeks and two days gestation, Child J was delivered early at the Countess of Chester Hospital on October 31, 2015.
She had surgery at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for a bowel issue before coming back to Chester’s newborn ward on November 10, 2015.
Days later, her medical records revealed that she was healthy and doing well, the jury at Chester Crown Court was informed.
On November 26/27, however, Letby was one of the six nurses covering the night shift, and she experienced an unexplained collapse during the night.
Letby texted a coworker before her shift began to complain that the infants she was to watch, including Child J, only needed help feeding.
It seems, we think, that Lucy Letby’s employment in nurseries three and four was not sufficiently stimulating, Mr. Johnson, the prosecuting attorney, told the jury.