Who is Lucy Letby? NHS nurse found guilty of murdering babies in hospital
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When NHS nurse Lucy Letby was first put in handcuffs back in 2018, it was the culmination of a two-year investigation by Cheshire Constabulary into multiple premature infant deaths and near-fatal collapses at Countess of Chester Hospital.
Letby studied nursing at the University of Chester, less than a mile away from the hospital, graduating as a band 5 nurse in 2011. During her studies she had done placements at the hospital, both on the children's ward and neonatal unit.
In 2012 she began working at the hospital full-time, and by 2015 was looking after babies in intensive care - even mentoring up-and-coming nurses. It was that same year when the collapses of babies were first mentioned to the hospital's senior management team.
In June 2016, Letby was on the ward when two tripet boys died and another baby boy collapsed in three consecutive days. She was confined to clerical work and in September 2016 registered a grievance procedure, which the court heard was resolved in her favour in December.
Letby was due to return to the neonatal unit in March 2017, but the move did not take place as soon after police were contacted by the hospital trust.
An investigation into the deaths, called Operation Hummingbird, found that Letby was on duty every time there was an incident.
In total, Letby - who had no previous convictions - was arrested on three occasions, before being charged in November 2020 with the murder of six babies and attempted murder of another 10.
Her trial began at Manchester Crown Court in October last year, with the nurse now being 33 years old.
The court heard how during searches of her home in Westbourne Road, Chester, a number of hand-written notes were discovered. On one green Post-it note she wrote: “I don’t deserve to live. I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough to care for them”, “I am a horrible evil person” and in capital letters “I am evil I did this”.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC invited the jurors to read the note “literally” as a confession. Also found during searches, the court heard, were more than 250 shift handover sheets containing names of some of the children on the trial indictment.
Today (18 August) Letby was found guilty of murdering six babies and attempting to murder a further seven. She was not in court for the end of the trial, and will not be appearing for her sentencing either.