UK nurse denies murdering babies in trial questioning
AFP | London
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
A nurse accused of murdering seven babies at the UK hospital where she worked denied on Tuesday ever trying to harm them, as she gave evidence at her trial.
Lucy Letby, 33, who is also accused of attempting to kill another 10 babies in the neo-natal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwest England, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
She has been on trial at Manchester Crown Court for the past seven months but entered the witness box for the first time to face questions about the spate of deaths in 2015 and 2016.
Confirming she had cared for hundreds of babies during that period, she was asked by her lawyer, Ben Myers, if she ever wanted to hurt them.
"No, that's completely against being what a nurse is," Letby replied.
The neo-natal nurse was first informed she was being blamed for the deaths in a letter from the Royal College of Nursing union in September 2016.
Letby, originally from Hereford in western England, was initially placed on clerical duties before her arrest in July 2018.
She told the court she "could not believe it" when she was blamed.
"It was devastating. I don't think you could be accused of anything worse than that," she added.
Prosecutors have previously presented as evidence notes written by Letby that were found during police searches of her Chester home.
- Notes -
One note, written in capital letters, read "I am evil I did this".
Another stated: "I don't deserve to live. I killed them on purpose because I'm not good enough to care for them. I am a horrible evil person".
Asked about the notes in court, Letby said she wrote the latter one "because I felt at the time I had done something wrong".
"I thought I'm such an awful, evil person... that I had made mistakes and not known," she added, noting that being removed from the neo-natal unit had affected her mental health.
Myers questioned what exactly it was that she thought she had done.
"That somehow I had been incompetent and I had done something wrong to affect these babies. I felt I must be responsible in some way," Letby responded.
She is facing 22 charges -- seven of murder and 15 of attempted murder, as she allegedly tried to kill some children more than once.
The youngest alleged murder victim -- a boy who was born prematurely -- was just a day old and "well" but died within 90 minutes of Letby coming on duty on June 8, 2015, the court has been told.
Medical experts said his death was consistent with a deliberate injection of air or something else into his circulation minutes before his collapse.
Discolouration on the boy's skin was consistent with some of the other cases in which Letby is alleged to have injected air into a victim's bloodstream, the jury has heard.