A British nurse on trial for allegedly murdering seven babies and trying to kill 10 others was a “constant malevolent presence” in the hospital’s neonatal unit where the killing spree took place, a court heard Monday.

Lucy Letby, 32, has been charged with killing five baby boys and two girls, as well as the attempted murder of five boys and five girls, while she worked at the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwest England between 2015 and 2016.

Police started probing the string of deaths after the hospital noticed a spike in the number of babies who were dying or suffering “serious catastrophic collapses” in early 2015.

“Babies who had not been unstable at all suddenly deteriorated,” prosecutor Nick Johnson said during Monday’s opening statements at Manchester Crown Court.

“Sometimes babies who had been sick, but then been on the mend suddenly deteriorated for no apparent reason.”

Prosecutors believe the deaths and collapses of all 17 babies were the work of Letby.

Lucy Letby
Lucy Letby, 32, is on trial for murdering seven babies and trying to kill 10 others while she worked at the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwest England between 2015 and 2016.
Chester Standard / SWNS.com
Lucy Letby in a court sketch
Letby’s murder trial got underway at Manchester Crown Court in northwest England on Monday.
SWNS

Johnson called her a “malevolent presence” in the neonatal unit when the babies died or their health deteriorated rapidly.

Letby’s first alleged victim was a premature baby boy who was killed when he was just a day old in June 2015, the prosecutor told jurors.

Letby allegedly injected air into the baby’s bloodstream, Johnson added.

A medical expert said the most likely reason for that baby’s demise was air that had been administered deliberately “by someone who knew it would cause significant harm.”

When police were called in to investigate the baby slayings in May 2017, their review uncovered the two baby boys had been poisoned with insulin just two days after they were born, Johnson told jurors.

The Countess of Chester Hospital
Prosecutors believe the deaths and collapses of all 17 babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital were the work of Letby.
AFP via Getty Images

The blood sugar levels of the two babies had dropped to dangerous levels — but both managed to survive after medical staff intervened.

Letby was on duty when both boys were poisoned, Johnson alleged.

The disgraced nurse, who has pleaded not guilty to the murder and attempted murder charges, was arrested three times in connection with the deaths before she was charged in November 2020.

Letby’s parents and the family members of some of her alleged victims were inside the courtroom Monday.

Her trial is expected to last weeks.

With Post wires



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