On Friday, a British neonatal nurse was found guilty of murdering seven newborns and the attempted murder of six other babies. The nurse is the most prolific child serial killer in modern British history.
Lucy Letby, 33, pleaded not guilty to all 22 charges against her. However, a jury of seven women and four men deliberated for 22 days before handing down the guilty verdict at Manchester Crown Court on Friday.
Letby was found guilty of the seven murders and six charges of attempted murder. The jury could not reach verdicts on six counts of attempted murder in connection to four babies.
Following her conviction, the victims' families released a joint statement: "To lose a baby is a heartbreaking experience that no parent should have to go through. But to lose a baby or have a baby harmed in these circumstances is unimaginable."
While working as a neonatal nurse at Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016, Letby killed seven infants — five boys and two girls. In that time, there was a significant increase in newborns who suffered from severe collapses or died suddenly.
GB News reported, "She used various ways to harm the babies, including injecting air into the bloodstream, injecting air into the stomach, overfeeding with milk, physical assaults, and poisoning with insulin."
Letby, who was in her 20s at the time of the murders, allegedly made multiple attempts to kill some of the babies.
Letby was reportedly the only member of the nursing staff who was on duty each time a child collapsed. Yet, she was not removed from the neonatal ward until the deaths of two triplet boys and another baby boy collapsed on three successive days in June 2016.
In September 2016, Letby filed a grievance against her employers after she was removed from the hospital’s neonatal unit.
According to CNN, "Later that year, she was notified of the allegations against her by the Royal College of Nursing union, but the complaint was later resolved in her favor. Doctors were asked to formally apologize to Letby in writing."
Letby was scheduled to return to the neonatal ward in March 2017, but that never occurred. Instead, hospital officials notified the police, who then opened an investigation into the suspicious and sudden deaths of children.
Letby was arrested in July 2018, then again in June 2019, and for a final time in November 2020. Letby was denied bail in the third arrest.
Police searched the nurse's home and discovered dark, handwritten notes. Letby allegedly wrote, "I don’t deserve to live. I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough to care for them."
"I am a horrible evil person. I am evil I did this," she purportedly wrote.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson described Letby as a "calculated opportunist" who used the vulnerabilities of premature and sick babies to hide her wicked actions. Johnson told the courtroom that Letby is a "cold, cruel and relentless" nurse with disturbing "voyeuristic tendencies" which would cause her to search the social media postings by parents of the children whom she attacked.
Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Paul Hughes said of the six-year investigation: "This has been an investigation like no other – in scope, complexity, and magnitude. We had to deal with this as 17 separate investigations – we are normally used to dealing with one murder or attempted murder investigation at a time let alone something on this scale."
There were nearly 70 officers and civilians working together at the height of the investigation.
Letby will be sentenced at Manchester Crown Court on August 21.
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