A British nurse was found guilty Friday of murdering seven newborn babies and the attempted murder of six others, concluding a 10-month trial nearly three years after she was arrested following a string of deaths in a hospital’s neonatal unit eight years ago.
Lucy Letby, 33, was found guilty of the murder of five boys and two girls and the attempted murder of six other infants after they were each placed in her care at the Countess of Chester Hospital, according to the Manchester Crown Court.
Letby was found not guilty of two attempted murder charges, while the jury was undecided on attempted murder charges related to four other infants.
According to the BBC, Letby allegedly poisoned the infants by adding insulin to intravenous feeds, interfering with breathing tubes and force-feeding milk.
The defense argued Letby was a “hard-working, dedicated and caring” nurse while suggesting there was not enough evidence to prove she harmed any infants, according to the Associated Press, while also arguing other doctors blamed Letby to cover up other issues in the neonatal unit.
Prosecutors presented notes written by Letby, including one Post-it note which read: “I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough to care for them.”
An independent review published in 2017 by the Countess of Chester Hospital—which investigated a higher-than-average mortality rate in the neonatal unit—found no definitive explanation for an increase in deaths in the hospital’s neonatal unit. The report noted other issues that could have contributed to the increase, including gaps in staffing, poor decision-making and an insufficient number of senior staff.
Letby was arrested in 2018 and 2019 following an investigation by Chesire police into a string of newborn deaths at Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and July 2016. Letby was later arrested and charged in 2020. Tony Chambers, the hospital’s chief executive, resigned in 2018 amid the investigation. The first baby allegedly targeted by Letby was a boy born prematurely in June 2015, who died when he was a day old after Letby allegedly injected air into his blood. Prior to the deaths, the hospital recorded fewer than three baby deaths per year on average in the neonatal unit, according to the BBC.
Nurse Lucy Letby Guilty Of Murdering Seven Babies On Neonatal Unit (BBC)
‘I am evil’: British Nurse Guilty Of Murdering Seven Newborn Babies (Reuters)
British Nurse Is Convicted Of Killing Seven Newborns (New York Times)
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