Lucy Letby: Convicted murderer 'never intended or tried to harm baby in her care', court hears

24 June 2024, 11:52 | Updated: 24 June 2024, 14:01

Convicted murderer Lucy Letby has told a jury she never intended to harm any baby in her care as she gave evidence at her retrial.

Letby was convicted last August of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others at the Countess of Chester Hospital's neo-natal unit between June 2015 and June 2016.

A verdict for an allegation involving a baby girl, known as Child K, could not be reached.

The 34-year-old is now on trial again at Manchester Crown Court accused of the attempted murder of Child K on 17 February 2016.

The prosecution said consultant paediatrician Dr Ravi Jayaram walked into the unit's intensive care nursery room, less than two hours after Child K's birth, and said he saw Letby standing next to the incubator "doing nothing".

At the time, the infant's blood oxygen levels had dipped but no monitor alarms sounded, it is alleged.

The baby, born at 25 weeks gestation, was transferred to a specialist hospital later on 17 February because of her extreme prematurity.

She died there three days later, although the prosecution does not allege Letby caused her death.

Letby, who was 26 at the time of the alleged incident, denies a single count of attempted murder.

Ben Myers KC, defending, asked Letby: "Did you attempt to murder [Child K]?"

She replied: "No."

Mr Myers then asked: "Did you intend to do her any harm at all?"

"No," she repeated, before denying she ever intended or tried to hurt any baby in her care.

Letby told the jury of six women and six men that she did not recall the particular events said to have taken place in the intensive care room at about 3.50am.

Mr Myers said: "You know the allegation, based on the evidence of Dr Jayaram, is that he says he came in and [Child K] was desaturating to the low 80s and you were standing there doing nothing and no alarm was sounding, you understand that?"

"Yes," said Letby.

Mr Myers said: "Do you recall any incident where Dr Jayaram comes in when something like that was happening?"

Letby replied: "No."

While opening the case, prosecutor Nick Johnson KC alleged Letby was also responsible for two further desaturations of Child K in the same shift to give colleagues the impression the baby was habitually displacing her own breathing tube.

Mr Myers said: "The allegation is that sometime after 6.10am [Child K] has a desaturation which you caused by interfering with the tube. Did you do that?"

Letby, of Hereford, said: "No I didn't."

She said she did not have any recollection of the third desaturation, said to have taken place at about 7.30am, around the time of shift handover.

Letby also said she could not remember why she searched for Child K's last name on Facebook on 20 April 2018.

The trial continues.