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UK nurse was 'calculating' killer of babies, court hears

By Agence France-Presse Published Jun 11, 2023 9:39 am

A nurse on trial for allegedly killing seven babies at a UK hospital where she worked was a "very calculating woman" who murdered "many children," a court heard on Friday, June 9.

Lucy Letby, 33, who is also accused of attempting to kill another 10 babies in the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwest England, denied harming children.

"You are a murderer... You have murdered many children," prosecutor Nick Johnson said in an exchange with Letby on the final day of her cross-examination at the Manchester Crown Court.

"I have never murdered a child or harmed any of them," she replied.

Letby is accused of targeting newborns by various means between June 2015 and June 2016, including giving them injections of insulin, air, or milk.

She was removed from the neonatal unit in July 2016 but continued working at the hospital on clerical duties before her arrest two years later. 

Letby previously told the court she felt "isolated" after her removal from the unit and said she was only allowed to speak to a select few colleagues.

Prosecutor Johnson said Friday that Letby's social diary at the time was "peppered with you out socializing with lots of different people on that unit."

Letby agreed with his assertion that she had a "very active social life."

"You are a calculating woman aren't you Miss Letby? You tell lies deliberately, don't you?" Johnson continued.

He said Letby lied "to get sympathy from people" and "to get attention from people."

Letby replied to his questions with a simple "no."

When she entered the witness box last month, Letby told the court she "always wanted to work with children" and said it was "devastating" to find out she was blamed for the deaths of the babies. 

Letby is facing 22 charges—seven of murder and 15 of attempted murder, as she allegedly tried to kill some children more than once.

The trial, ongoing since October, will resume next week. (AFP)