Lucy Letby, a 33-year-old neonatal nurse, was found guilty on Friday of killing seven babies and attempting to kill six others while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwest England between 2015 and 2016. The jury’s verdict followed a lengthy trial that began in October of last year.
Letby was charged with murder in the deaths of five boys and two girls, as well as the attempted murder of six other infants. Prosecutors alleged that she deliberately harmed these newborns in various ways, including injecting air into their bloodstreams and administering air or milk into their stomachs via nasogastric tubes. The alleged victims, as per British law, cannot be named.
Prosecutor Pascale Jones described Letby’s actions as a perversion of her medical knowledge, turning innocuous substances like air, milk, fluids, and medication into lethal weapons. “She perverted her learning and weaponized her craft to inflict harm, grief, and death,” Jones stated. The prosecutor also highlighted that Letby had caused harm to babies repeatedly, in an environment that should have been safe for them and their families.
Throughout the trial, the court heard chilling accounts of Letby’s alleged actions, which included poisoning infants by adding insulin to intravenous feeds and tampering with breathing tubes. Prosecutors argued that Letby had been a constant presence on the neonatal unit during the collapses or deaths of the children, persuading her colleagues that the incidents were normal and leaving little trace of her actions.
The trial also revealed that Letby had been arrested three times in connection with the baby deaths. Each time bailing out before being formally charged in November 2020. The prosecution cited a Post-It note found at Letby’s home, where she had written “I am evil, I did this,” as a significant piece of evidence indicating her guilt.
Letby maintained her innocence throughout the trial, testifying for 14 days and sobbing at times. Her defense lawyer argued that there was insufficient evidence to prove her involvement in the alleged harmful acts. He suggested that the infants’ deaths could have been due to natural causes or other factors such as staffing shortages or inadequate care from others.
The jury, consisting of seven women and four men, deliberated for 22 days before reaching the verdict. Letby was found guilty on multiple charges, including murder and attempted murder. However, she was found not guilty on one charge of attempted murder, and the jury could not reach a verdict on several others.
The sentencing of Lucy Letby is scheduled for 10 a.m. local time on Monday.