Nurse Convicted In Seven Baby Deaths, More Attempts

A British hospital’s neonatal nurse, Lucy Letby, has been found guilty of a shocking crime that has left the nation in disbelief. The 33-year-old nurse was accused of causing the deaths of seven babies and attempting to harm six others during her tenure at the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwest England from 2015 to 2016.

Throughout the trial, the courtroom was filled with tension as a jury of seven women and four men deliberated for a staggering 22 days before finally arriving at their verdict. A juror’s personal reasons led to their excusal, and ultimately, the judge offered the remaining 11 jurors the option to reach a decision with 10 people in agreement, rather than requiring a unanimous vote.

The emotional weight of the situation was palpable, as Letby found herself on the receiving end of a verdict that brought both relief and sorrow. With tears streaming down her face, she was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, while one charge of attempted murder resulted in a not-guilty verdict. Additionally, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on several other charges.

The case centered on Letby’s alleged intentional harm to newborns under her care. Prosecutors detailed a distressing pattern of harm that included injecting air into infants’ bloodstreams and administering air or milk into their stomachs through nasogastric tubes. 

Insulin was allegedly added to intravenous feeds, leading to instances of infant poisoning, and breathing tubes were tampered with, posing life-threatening risks to the babies.

The story took an even more bewildering turn when souvenirs of the attack were discovered at Letby’s residence. A post-it-note note bore the words “I am evil, I did this,” a stark statement that prosecutors interpreted as a confession. 

Letby’s defense attorney, however, argued that this was a reflection of a woman grappling with self-doubt and blaming herself for the tragic events that transpired.

Throughout the trial, the defense portrayed Letby as a dedicated and compassionate nurse who deeply cared for her patients. They questioned the evidence linking her to the alleged harmful acts, suggesting that natural causes or external factors such as staffing shortages or lapses in care by others could have contributed to the infants’ collapses and deaths.

Letby’s testimony spanned 14 days, during which she staunchly maintained her innocence. Tearfully, she stated, “I only ever did my best to care for them. I am there to care, not to harm.” The emotions she expressed during her testimony resonated with many, prompting questions about the complexity of this tragic situation.

The shift handover sheets and blood gas reading found with her, however, tell a very different story as some of the sheets, which she should not have taken from the hospital, contained names of babies she had harmed.

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