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Nurse Found Guilty of Killing Seven Newborns in UK Hospital’s Neonatal Unit


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UK Nurse Found Guilty of Killing Newborn Babies in Hospital’s Neonatal Unit

A UK court has convicted a nurse of murdering seven newborn babies and attempting to kill six others in a hospital’s neonatal unit. Lucy Letby, 33, has been on trial since October last year, facing accusations of injecting her sick or premature baby victims with air, feeding them milk, or poisoning them with insulin.

Families’ Response

The families of the victims expressed relief that justice had been served, but acknowledged that the pain and distress they had endured would not be erased.

Verdict and Future Implications

The jury deliberated for 22 days before delivering their guilty verdict on August 8, which was only made public on Friday due to a court order. Letby will be sentenced on Monday and, according to her lawyer, she has chosen not to appear in court to hear her fate. She faces the possibility of never being released from prison. The jury acquitted her of two counts and could not reach a decision on six others, leaving prosecutors to consider a retrial.

Background and Prosecution’s Claims

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Letby was arrested following a series of deaths in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016. The prosecution described her as a calculated individual who used various methods to harm children. Colleagues raised concerns after noticing a pattern of child collapses coinciding with Letby’s shift, sometimes occurring when parents were not present. Prosecutors argued that Letby deceived her colleagues, making them believe the deaths were a result of bad luck.

Final Victims and Arrest

Letby’s last two victims were referred to in court as infants O and P, who were triplets. Baby O died shortly after Letby returned from a holiday, while baby P died a day after his brother. Letby also attempted to kill the third triplet, Baby Keogh. However, the jury could not reach a verdict on this charge. Letby was arrested and released twice before being formally charged and taken into custody in 2020. During a search of her home, a handwritten note was found where Letby wrote, “I’m evil, I did this.” She later claimed to have written the note after being assigned clerical duties following the twins’ deaths.

Defense and Investigation

Letby’s defense attorney described her as hardworking, committed, and passionate about her job. Letby suggested that four senior doctors formed a group to blame her in order to conceal the hospital’s failings. The police are currently investigating Letby’s entire tenure at the Countess of Chester Hospital and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, examining over 4,000 admissions to the neonatal unit between 2012 and 2016. The government has also initiated an independent investigation into the case to assess the hospital administration’s handling of the doctors’ concerns.

Government Response and Historical Context

The British Health Secretary announced that the independent investigation aims to provide answers to the victims and their families and identify any gaps in patient safety standards. The case has evoked memories of other notorious medical killers in the UK, such as Doctor Harold Shipman and Nurse Beverley Allitt. Shipman, a general practitioner, was found guilty of killing 15 patients and was linked to approximately 250 deaths. Allitt, known as the “Angel of Death,” was convicted of murdering four children and attempting to murder three others.

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