Nurse Lucy Letby murdered 7 babies. She wrote a sympathy card to one of their parents.

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It's the case in the UK that has made global headlines, following the crimes and trial of now convicted murderer Lucy Letby.

In February 2017, officials at The Countess of Chester Hospital in England's north began probing an alarming increase in unexplained deaths and near-deaths at its neonatal ward.

The region's most high-needs babies were diverted to other hospitals as a precaution, and an independent clinical review was launched, which uncovered procedural issues and "significant gaps" in staffing. 

Soon the focus narrowed to one staff member in particular - a nurse named Lucy Letby.

Letby had previously spoken about her role to The Chester Standard saying: "My role involves caring for a wide range of babies requiring various levels of support. Some are here for a few days, others for many months, and I enjoy seeing them progress and supporting their families."

But after a lengthy investigation, Letby was charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder relating to infant patients at the hospital she worked at.

Watch: the moment Letby was arrested. Post continues below.

Video via Police/TalkTV.

Late last year the trial began at Manchester Crown Court, the 33-year-old denying she murdered the five boys and two girls, and attempted to murder another five boys and five girls between June 2015 and June 2016. The trial went on for 10 months. 

In all, she faced 22 charges - seven of murder and 15 of attempted murder, as she allegedly tried to kill some children more than once.

Now this week, Letby was found guilty of murdering seven newborn babies and trying to kill another six. She was found not guilty of two attempted murders while the jury were unable to agree on six other suspected attacks.

The verdict makes Letby one of Britain's most prolific serial child killers.

Lucy Letby's crimes.

According to prosecutors, Letby fatally injected the newborns with insulin, air or milk during her night shifts when the parents weren't present.

Consultants were concerned because babies who were very sick deteriorated unexpectedly. Some who collapsed did not respond to appropriate treatment.

Having searched for a cause - which they were unable to find - the consultants noticed the inexplicable collapses and deaths had one common denominator: the presence of neo-natal nurse Letby.


1. The doctor who raised the alarm was told to 'stop making a fuss'.

A doctor was told by hospital managers to "stop making a fuss" after he tried to blow the whistle on Letby.

Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Ravi Jayaram, told the court that he and some colleagues had raised concerns as early as October 2016 when the inquest into the death of the first victim was carried out.

But Dr Jayaram admitted he didn't have enough "hard evidence" at the time and was told by bosses to stop making accusations. He told the court he wished he had been more "courageous" and spoken up again about Letby.


Previously, he'd told the court he felt so uncomfortable with Letby being left alone with premature babies that he frequently went to check on them. 

2. Letby tried to murder a set of twins.

The youngest alleged murder victim - a young boy born prematurely - was one day old and by all accounts in decent health when born. 

Within 90 minutes of Letby starting her shift, that young boy was dead. Medical experts said his death was consistent with a deliberate injection of air or something else minutes before his collapse.

The prosecution said Letby tried to kill the boy's twin sister just hours later. The twin girl was revived and does not appear to have suffered any long-term adverse effects.

3. The mother of the twins walked in on Letby trying to kill the baby.

The mother testified in court that she walked in on the nurse attempting to murder one of her babies.

When the mother confronted Letby, Letby told her: "Trust me, I'm a nurse."

In that moment, the infant was "acutely distressed" and bleeding from the mouth, the court heard. The mother, who cannot be named, did not realise Letby was in the process of attacking her son and was "fobbed off" by Letby.

Soon after, the boy died.

4. Postmortem results confirmed foul play.

One of the infant's deaths was initially put down to a gastrointestinal disorder. It's a condition that medical experts say can sometimes occur in premature babies, therefore no postmortem was undertaken. 


The prosecution said this decision was in hindsight "a big mistake".

Experts later concluded the baby died as a result of gas intentionally injected into his bloodstream and "bleeding indicative of trauma".

They said all the deaths and collapses were "no accident" and were not "naturally occurring tragedies".

5. Letby tried to create a false alibi for herself.

Soon after one of the infant's deaths, police say Letby "wiped out" the mother's visit to the neonatal ward from the hospital's medical records.

Letby then falsely documented that she was in another room when the infant's health deteriorated.

6. There were multiple attempts. 

Another of Letby's victims - a three-month-old baby - was left with "irreversible brain damage" after Letby tried three times to kill the child by injecting milk and air into her nasogastric tube, jurors were told.

The court was also told about Letby's attack on another child, by adding insulin to the child's feed.

This caused the child's blood sugar to start to drop while Letby was present. 

"Somebody poisoned him. No other baby on the neonatal unit was being prescribed insulin. Therefore, it couldn't have been negligence," the prosecution said.


The court heard the child's nutrients bag was replaced and he survived, but the medical team on the unit were concerned and ordered checks.

7. The mother of one of the victims heard her child's "horrendous screams".

The mother of a newborn baby murdered by Letby heard his "horrendous screams" and saw blood around his mouth when she walked in on the nurse alone with her son, a court heard.

The mother/witness - who also cannot be named - said she knew deep down something was "very wrong" when she saw her five-day-old son in distress. Letby stood near his incubator as he was screaming. 

The jury was told Letby was in the process of murdering the infant by injecting him with air before the mother walked in.

8. Letby looked up the parents of other children on Facebook.

The nurse made Facebook searches for the parents of other children not connected with her trial, a jury heard. These were parents who had children reportedly in the care of the neonatal ward, but were not victims of Letby.

The trial heard Letby searched for "many" parents on the social media website, as well as searching for the parents of a victim in June 2015.

Intelligence analyst Claire Hocknell, who was employed by Cheshire Police, told Letby's defence team there were a "lot of searches for other people in the data". 

Letby was previously questioned by police during interviews over why she had tracked the families of her victims on Facebook, with prosecutors saying this was an "unusual interest".


9. Letby had handwritten notes in her home that said: "I am evil I did this."

The jury were shown a note during the trial in which Letby wrote: "I am evil I did this."

The post-it note was found at her home and also included phrases such as "I don't deserve to live" and "I killed them on purpose because I'm not good enough" scrawled on the paper.

"Hate" is seen written in block capitals with heavy ink and circled, while the note is headed: "Not good enough".

Other passages on the note said: "I am an awful person", "I feel very alone + scared", and "I haven't done anything wrong and they have no evidence so why have I had to hide away?"


10. Letby expressed her sadness about the infant deaths to her colleagues.

Jurors were shown messages Letby had exchanged with other staff members.

"Haha. Nodding off in cinema isn't a good look. I had a mini meltdown last night about what's happened at work. I just need some time off with mum and dad," she texted one colleague.

She also told another colleague that moving a baby to a mortuary while his devastated father watched on in tears was "just heartbreaking" and "the hardest thing I've ever had to do".

The day after this child died and on her next night shift, Letby tried to kill his twin sister.

Letby's text read: "We all did everything we possibly could under very difficult and sad circumstances. I said to [another nurse] that I can't look after [the child] because I just don't know how I'm going to feel seeing parents. Dad was on the floor crying saying 'please don't take our baby away' when we took him to the mortuary. Hopefully have a more positive one tonight."

Letby also texted another nurse, telling her colleague that the loss of one of the other babies was "awful".

"He died very suddenly and unexpectedly just after handover. Waiting for post-mortem results. Hopefully they can get to the bottom of it."

11. Letby wrote a sympathy card to the parents of an infant she killed.

A parent of one of the victims said they received a sympathy card from Letby a few weeks after their child died.


A copy of the card, which was titled "your loved one will be remembered with many smiles" was shown in court.

"There are no words to make this time any easier," Letby wrote. 

"It was a real privilege to care for [child] and get to know you as a family - a family who always put [child] first and did everything possible for her. She will always be part of your lives and we will never forget her. Thinking of you today and always."

Letby also apologised for not being able to attend the girl's funeral.


"Thinking of you today and always - sorry I cannot be there to say goodbye. Lots of love Lucy x," she wrote.

12. "Smiling" Letby offered to take photographs of a baby girl soon after she murdered her at the fourth attempt.

A court heard that Letby offered to take photos as the parents of one of her victims bathed their infant after she died.

"Lucy even offered to take some photos using my mobile, which I agreed to. I didn't have too much to do with Lucy. She always appeared reserved compared to other nurses. She didn't really interact with parents," the parent said in court.

With sentencing still to occur, police are now carrying out further investigations into all the time Letby had worked as a nurse at the hospital and at another one in Liverpool where she had trained, to identify if there were any more victims.

The British government has also ordered an independent inquiry into the matter, including how concerns raised by clinicians about Letby were dealt with.

Following her conviction, the families of the victims released a joint statement saying they would never truly know why this had happened.

"To lose a baby is a heartbreaking experience that no parent should have to go through," they said. "But to lose a baby or have a baby harmed in these circumstances is unimaginable."

This article was originally published on October 12, 2022 and has been updated with new information since.

Feature Image: Getty/Facebook.

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