12:55 pm
Friday, 18 August 2023

Who is Lucy Letby, the nurse who murdered 7 babies with insulin and air injections in the UK?

The trial against her lasted 10 months and is believed to be the longest murder trial in the UK. She is the nurse convicted of killing newborns placed under her care

Nurse Lucy Letby was found guilty of murdering seven babies in a neonatal unit in England, making her the UK’s most prolific child serial killer in modern times.

The 33-year-old was also convicted of attempted murder of six other babies at Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

Letby deliberately injected air into the babies, force-fed others milk and poisoned two of the toddlers with insulin.

The nurse refused to appear in the dock for the latest verdicts, which were presented during several hearings.

The defendant was found not guilty of two counts of attempted murder. And the jury was unable to reach a verdict on six other counts of attempted murder related to four babies.

During the trial, which began in October 2022, the prosecution called Letby a “calculating and devious” opportunist who “misled” her colleagues to cover up her “murderous assaults.”

She was convicted following a two-year investigation by Cheshire Police into an alarming and unexplained rise in deaths and near-fatal collapses of premature babies at the hospital.

The trial lasted more than 10 months and is believed to be the longest murder trial ever to take place in the UK.

Who is Lucy Letby?

From the beginning of the case Letby strongly denied all 22 charges brought against her.

To reach their verdicts, the jury of seven women and four men deliberated for more than 110 hours after listening to 10 months of harrowing evidence.

But what is known about the woman who murdered and attempted to kill the babies entrusted to her care?

Letby was born on January 4, 1990, and grew up in Hereford, England, with her mother and father, John and Susan, who since last October watched from the public gallery of Manchester Court as the trial against their only daughter unfolded.

She attended local schools, selecting subjects in high school that she believed would help her achieve her goals and aspirations.

“I always wanted to work with children,” Letby told the jury, adding that she had chosen subjects “that would best support that career.”

She was the first person in her family to go to university, where she studied nursing for three years at the University of Chester.

During her studies, she undertook numerous work placements. Most were located at the Countess of Chester Hospital, both in the infant and neonatal units.

She qualified as a nurse in September 2011 and began working full-time at the hospital from January 2012 before qualifying to work with babies in intensive care in the spring of 2015.

Letby told the court that her work from that point on was “predominantly” devoted to caring for the sickest babies on the unit.

She also revealed that she mentored five or six student nurses and said she had cared for hundreds of newborn babies during 2015 and 2016.


It was in September 2016, when she was unofficially informed in a letter from the Royal College of Nursing that she was under investigation for the deaths of babies.

Earlier that year, hospital management had removed her from her clinical duties and assigned her to an administrative position in the patient risk and safety office.

At the time, Letby believed this was to verify that the staff was competent to do their jobs and hoped to return to the work she loved.

But six years later, in 2022, the nurse, who had no prior convictions, cautions or warnings recorded against her, found herself sitting in the dock.

Her defense team argued that the deaths and collapses were due to “serial failures in care” at the unit and that she was the victim of a “system that wanted to apportion blame when something went wrong.”

During the trial, jurors got a glimpse of what Letby’s life was like outside of work when her private WhatsApp and social media messages were read to the court.

“He had quite an active social life,” Letby told the jury. “He used to regularly attend salsa classes, go out with friends, go on vacation with friends. Going to the gym.”

When photographs of her home, where she was first arrested, were shown to the jury, the woman burst into tears.

Letby lived in hospital staff accommodation before moving into an apartment in Chester for about six months.

She then moved back into hospital accommodation in June 2015, before finally moving into a house she bought in Chester in April 2016.

A picture of a notice board in the kitchen of her home was covered in pictures and letters and among them was a sign, drawn by her godson, which read, “Godmother number 1 award goes to Lucy Letby.”

On her bed, she had stuffed animals of Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore, while a drawer in the living room contained various documents and medical notes for her two cats, named Tigger and Smudge.

Letby has been remanded in custody since November 2020 and has been locked up in four different prisons.

Her trial captured the attention of readers around the world, many of them unable to comprehend how a neonatal nurse could carry out such heinous acts.

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