British nurse Lucy Letby was found guilty of murdering seven newborn babies and attempting to kill another six. She committed the crimes in the neonatology ward of the Chester hospital in north-west England where she worked, Reuters reported. The woman is facing life imprisonment.
Lucy Letby, 33, was found guilty of murdering five boys and two girls and attempting to kill several other children on Friday. A woman has been cleared of the attempted murder of two other infants. As for the six alleged assaults, the oaths were unable to come to an agreement.
The killings took place between June 2015 and June 2016, when Letby was 25-26 years old. The woman was arrested in 2018 following an investigation into a significantly higher than usual number of infant deaths in the neonatal unit at Countess of Chester Hospital during that period. The trial, which began in October 2022, was – according to the BBC – the longest in British history in a murder case. It was also one of the most famous trials in this country in recent years.
The decision by a Manchester court jury means Letby has become the child killer with the highest number of crimes committed in modern British history. Letby hurt the children when she was on night duty. Prosecutors told the jury during the trial that the nurse killed the newborns by injecting them with insulin or air.
The sentence will be handed down next Monday. Letby is expected to be sentenced to life in prison, which means she will never be eligible for parole. She would become just the third woman alive in the UK today to be convicted.
“Trust Me, I’m a Nurse”
In the photos posted on social media, Lucy Letby gives the impression of a nice and cheerful young woman with an active social life. In one of the photos, he is cradling a child in his arms. The image of the 33-year-old that emerged during the trial before the jury, however, was quite different.
Among her victims were two brothers among the triplets who were killed 24 hours apart, a newborn weighing less than a kilogram who was injected with air, and a girl born 10 weeks prematurely who was murdered on the fourth attempt. Letby deliberately injected the children with air, forced them to feed them with someone else’s milk, and poisoned two of them with insulin.
According to prosecutors, Letby repeatedly made unsuccessful attempts to take the lives of newborns, repeating them until successful. When the mother of one of the victims entered the room when the 33-year-old tried to hurt her child, she heard from her: – Trust me, I’m a nurse.
– Lucy Letby was entrusted with the care of the most vulnerable children. Those who worked with her had no idea there was a murderer among them, prosecutor Pascal Jones said. “She did everything in her power to cover up her crimes by changing the ways she used to hurt those under her care,” added Jones.
Letba’s crimes came to light as doctors became concerned about the growing number of unexplained deaths in the neonatal unit, where premature babies and newborns with serious medical conditions are treated. Unable to find a medical cause for the children’s deaths, doctors notified the police.
After Letba was arrested, the police searched her apartment. There, detectives found medical records of the newborns she had victimized. They also determined that she checked social media information about the parents and relatives of the murdered children, writes Reuters.
In the woman’s apartment, police also found a handwritten note that read: “I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough to look after them. I’m a terribly bad person. I’M BAD.”
As reported by Reuters, during the testimony, the accused cried, claiming that she never intended to harm the children and only wanted to look after them. According to her, the cause of infant deaths may have been unsanitary conditions in the ward.
“I have never murdered a child or harmed any of them,” she told the court. She claimed that four doctors had conspired against her to place blame on her, which lay with the hospital. The woman told the jury she wrote “I’m angry” on a piece of paper because she was overwhelmed by the number of deaths in her care and felt she was incompetent or made a mistake.
Prosecutors said Letby was a “cold, cruel and calculating liar” saying she had changed her version of events many times and that her notes should be taken as a confession. Investigators said they found nothing unusual in her resume that could help determine her motives.
Police are continuing to investigate the case to determine whether there may have been more victims. Reuters reports that at the same time, Letby was also working at another hospital in Liverpool, where she was undergoing training.
Main photo source: CHESHIRE CONSTABULARY/EPA/PAP