Lucy Letby tells court she 'is not the sort of person that kills babies'

24 June 2024, 17:46 | Updated: 24 June 2024, 21:06

Lucy Letby - the former nurse convicted of murdering seven babies and trying to murder six others while working in a hospital neonatal unit - has told a court she is "not the sort of person that kills babies" and was "not guilty of what I was found guilty of".

The 34-year-old is facing a retrial over the 2016 attempted murder of a baby girl, known as Child K, by dislodging the infant's breathing tube.

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

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

Prosecutors at Manchester Crown Court have said she was "caught virtually red-handed" by a doctor who walked into the unit's intensive care nursery room in the hospital's neonatal unit in February 2016.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Ravi Jayaram said the nurse was standing next to the newborn's incubator "doing nothing" as blood oxygen levels dipped but no monitor alarms sounded.

Ben Myers KC, defending, asked Letby: "Do you accept you have ever intended to hurt any baby in your care?"

Letby replied: "No, I don't."

Mr Myers went on: "Do you accept that you have ever tried to harm any baby in your care?"

She replied: "No."

Letby told the jury of six women and six men she could not remember any incident with Child K and Dr Jayaram walking into the room.

Asked by Nick Johnson, for the prosecution, about the tube, Letby said: "I know my actions and I know I didn't displace that tube."

Mr Johnson said: "You have killed seven babies in that unit, haven't you?"

Letby replied: "No, I have not."

Mr Johnson said: "And you tried to kill six others, one on two separate occasions, didn't you?"

Letby said: "No."

Asked why she searched Facebook on her mobile phone for Child K's surname in 2018 after the child left the unit, and whether it was "just an innocent coincidence", she replied: "Well, I'm not guilty of what I have been found guilty of."

Child K was transferred to a specialist hospital later on 17 February, 2016, because of her extreme prematurity, having born at 25 weeks gestation. She died there three days later, although the prosecution does not allege Letby caused her death.

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

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children involved in the case.

Letby will continue to give evidence on Tuesday.