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Crime News Murders

Nurse Accused Of Sending Sympathy Card To Parents Of Baby She Allegedly Murdered

New testimony as the trial continues for U.K. nurse Lucy Letby, who is accused of killing seven babies and trying to kill 10 others between 2015 and 2016. 

By Caitlin Schunn

A nurse accused of trying to murder premature babies under her care sent a sympathy card to the grieving parents of a baby girl after she allegedly tried to kill her, according to prosecutors in the U.K. and the BBC.

Lucy Letby is currently on trial for murdering seven babies, and trying to kill 10 others, at the Countess of Chester Hospital between 2015 and 2016. She denies the charges.

Jurors in Manchester Crown Court were shown an image of a condolence card Letby allegedly sent to the family of a premature baby, known as “Child I,” before her funeral. The card was titled “your loved one will be remembered with many smiles.” According to the BBC, inside, Letby allegedly wrote, “There are no words to make this time any easier. It was a real privilege to care for [Child I] and get to know you as a family – a family who always put [Child I] first and did everything possible for her. She will always be part of your lives and we will never forget her. Thinking of you today and always – sorry I cannot be there to say goodbye. Lots of love, Lucy.”

RELATED: Trial Begins For U.K. Nurse Accused Of Killing 7 Babies In The NICU

Earlier in the trial, prosecutors told jurors Letby also allegedly offered to take photographs of "Child I" as her parents bathed her after her death, according to previous Oxygen.com reporting. 

Prosecutors said Letby tried to kill “Child I,” three times before murdering her on Oct. 23, 2015, the BBC reported. Ashleigh Hudson, the child’s designated nurse, testified before jurors that the child was usually easy to settle, but the night of Oct. 22, she became “very unsettled.”

“I tried the usual measures to settle her – they didn’t seem to work,” Hudson testified, according to BBC reporting. “It was quite a relentless cry. It was a type of cry that I hadn’t myself heard her make before, it was very loud, relentless, there was no stopping and starting. No fluctuation, just constant, very loud.”

Lucy Letby's House after her arrestC

The child’s heart rate dropped, and ventilation breaths were given by Hudson, as Letby gave assistance, according to the BBC.

Prosecutors claim Letby killed the baby by injecting air into her feeding tube and bloodstream, the BBC reported. Radiologist Dr. Owen Arthurs testified “it stands to reason,” but can’t be proven, that x-rays of the baby’s enlarged stomach were consistent with having been “deliberately injected” with air. He said the large presence of air could cause “splinting in the diaphragm” and lead to “respiratory complications.”

“It’s quite unusual to see babies with this degree of dilation of the stomach,” Arthurs testified before a jury, and said the baby’s stomach was “striking” due to its “massive” appearance, according to the BBC.

Arthurs said no one really knows how much air it would take to make the stomach expand that much but he guessed more than 20 ml of air.

“Those experiments can’t really be carried out,” Arthurs testified, according to the BBC. “We can’t experiment on babies by giving them 50 or 100 ml of air and taking x-rays.”

Letby’s defense attorney asked if x-rays alone would be enough to prove the reason for the presence of air, to which Arthurs said it was “not possible to establish a precise cause.”

Dr. Rachel Chang worked on “Child I” the morning of her death, testifying that several rounds of CPR and eight doses of adrenaline were administered in an attempt to save the child's life, adding that she could not explain the infant’s death.

“I knew we’d done everything, I trusted everyone around me,” Chang testified, according to the BBC. “I’ve never been able to truly explain it — it was awful.”

On Thursday, Dr. Matthew Neame testified that Child I had appeared stable in the weeks leading up to the 23rd, though he noticed the child's stomach looked "distended," according to the BBC.

Still, the hospital was optimistic Child I's health would continue to improve. According to previous Oxygen.com reporting, the child's mother wrote in a statement read aloud in court, "She looked like a full-term baby, she didn't look frail or small."

Earlier in the trial, Oxygen.com reported Letby allegedly tried to kill the same baby twice, and that hospital staff could not explain why that baby suffered a cardiac collapse. Prosecutors also alleged Letby used insulin to try and murder another child, causing drops in blood sugar levels and surges in heart rates.

Letby’s murder trial began in Manchester Crown Court in October of 2022 and is expected to last at least six months.

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