Police footage shows neonatal unit in hospital where Lucy Letby worked
Nurse Lucy Letby has indicated she will refuse to attend her sentencing hearing on Monday after she was convicted of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others at a hospital neonatal unit.
Prosecutors said Letby, 33, was a “calculated opportunist” who used the vulnerabilities of premature and sick infants to camouflage her acts in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
Dr Ravi Jayaram, a consultant there, said he was warned there would be blue-and-white tape everywhere if he called the police and “it would be really bad for the reputation of the trust” – calling it a “Kafkaesque situation”.
And consultants who raised concerns were told by hospital bosses to apologise to her formally in writing, the nurse’s murder trial heard.
Letby harmed the babies in various ways including injecting air into the bloodstream or stomach, overfeeding with milk, physical assaults and poisoning with insulin.
Cheshire Police say they are reviewing the care of 4,000 babies in the Countess of Chester – and also at Liverpool Women’s Hospital when Letby had two work placements.
An independent inquiry will be held into the case, the Department of Health said.
In pictures: the police search
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 20:40
Letby refuses to attend sentencing
Letby has indicated she does not want to take any part in her sentencing hearing next week or to follow Monday’s sentencing hearing via videolink from prison, the court was told:
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 20:32
Consultants were told to apologise to nurse for raising concerns
It emerged during legal argument at Manchester Crown Court that a grievance procedure Letby started was resolved in her favour, and a number of consultants were required to apologise to her formally in writing:
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 20:18
Babies could have been saved if hospital acted sooner, say consultants
Two doctors who worked on the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital raised concerns about Letby in 2015, and say the infants could have been saved if hospital management had listened and acted sooner:
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 20:00
Key evidence presented during trial
Lucy Letby: Key pieces of evidence presented during trial of baby killer
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 19:53
All the babies will for ever be in our hearts, says police chief
Police will still support the families involved, and the babies will stay in officers’ hearts, a senior officer has said.
Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Evans, of Cheshire Constabulary, said: “All of their babies will for ever be in our hearts.
“I would like to thank all of the families in this case for their exceptional resilience and strength throughout this entire investigation, their composure and their dignity during this trial has been truly overwhelming.
“The investigation into the circumstances surrounding this case started in May 2017, since that time hundreds of witnesses have been spoken to by a team of dedicated detectives.
“Many of those witnesses have returned to court on numerous occasions to give evidence, without their honesty and their support the families would not have received the justice that they have received today.
“I cannot begin to imagine how the families in this case feel today, I just hope that today’s verdicts bring all of them some peace of mind for the future, and that we have answered some of the questions that they were looking for.
“Cheshire Constabulary will continue to support all of the families in this case in the coming days and weeks ahead, there will be a period of reflection as everybody comes to terms with what they’ve experienced here today.”
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 19:40
Families ‘heartbroken, angry and numb’
The families of the victims of Britain’s worst child serial killer say they are “heartbroken, devastated, angry and feel numb”:
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 19:16
Letby became very annoyed when she failed to murder twin babies, parents say
Lucy Letby became ‘very annoyed’ when she failed to murder twin babies, parents say
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 19:00
The police interview
The nurse being interviewed under police caution:
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 18:45
Criminologist’s theories on what motivated killer
James Treadwell, professor in criminology at Staffordshire University, said he believed there were similarities between Letby and Beverley Allitt, a nurse who killed four babies and poisoned nine others at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, Lincolnshire, in 1991.
Prof Treadwell suggested a number of reasons why Letby could have committed the crimes, including that she is a narcissist; Munchausen syndrome by proxy; she enjoyed the risk; she used the offences as a means for attention from the doctor prosecutors said she had a “crush” on; or evil.
But he said he thinks that answering “how” is much more important than the “why” question – which he believes will never be answered – because finding out how could prevent it happening again.
Prof Treadwell said: “The police described her as beige but beige people can do evil acts as well, it’s not that it always comes from the people that radiate malice.
“Sometimes those who do the most evil acts can be remarkably beige.”
He added: “One of the things that is quite interesting is she is being compared in the media more to Myra Hindley and Rose West, but Beverley Allitt is often forgotten as a serial killer, people don’t remember her.
“We can suggest conditions like Munchausen by proxy and narcissism, it could simply be that there’s an element of enjoying the risk.
“I saw suggestions that she had an infatuation with one of the doctors, it could simply be that harming the children could not have been significant in her thought process, that it would be a vehicle for something else.
“Is there evil? I’ve never believed that people are evil, some will do evil acts and many are capable of doing evil acts.
“All of these things are possible in the case of Letby. I think the problem is, will people ever know?
“We’ll never be furnished with a ‘why’ from her, she’ll continue to protest her innocence.”
Jane Dalton18 August 2023 18:35
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/lucy-letby-ap-british-countess-of-chester-hospital-london-b2395417.html Lucy Letby trial news: Nurse refuses to go to court for sentencing as TV’s Dr Ravi Jayaram says he warned hospital bosses