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A former neonatal nurse charged with 22 counts of murder and attempted murder involving 17 babies at a hospital in the U.K. had to be told repeatedly to leave the parents of one of her alleged victims alone.
Letby, 32, who has denied all charges, was described by prosecutors as a “constant, malevolent presence” in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital when the trial started in October.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson told jurors that “a poisoner was at work.” He then noted the "significant rise in the number of babies who were dying and in the number of serious catastrophic collapses" after January 2015, FOX News reported.
Letby’s supervisor testified on Monday that after the baby, identified in the media as Baby C, died, she told her to focus on another sick baby, the Guardian reported.
The nurse, whose name was not revealed to protect her identity, was the shift leader on the night that Baby C collapsed and died in June 2015.
The baby was born prematurely, weighing less than two pounds at birth. He was the second of seven babies Letby allegedly killed from 2015 to 2016 while working at the hospital’s neo-natal unit. Letby is charged with the attempted murder of ten other babies.
The witness said that Letby went into the baby’s room “a few times.” At one point, she reportedly told Letby to let the baby’s designated nurse handle things.
But Letby was in the intensive care room when Baby C suddenly collapsed, even though her presence was not needed, prosecutors said according to the Guardian. Prosecutors alleged she caused his death by inserting air into his stomach with a nasogastric tube, the newspaper reported. The baby was resuscitated and remained in critical condition for several more hours.
“I asked Lucy to focus on [her designated baby] because I was still concerned about him. However, Lucy went into the family room a few times and I asked her to come out and leave that family with Melanie Taylor,” the nurse testified.
Prosecutor Simon Driver asked: “Was it any part of the responsibilities for her to go into that family room at this time?” The witness replied: “Not that I can remember,” the Guardian reported.
He continued: "You instructed her to return her attention to [her designated baby] once or more than once?” The witness said: “More than once.”
The nurse told the court that Baby C was stable when her shift started and she had no concerns, an assertion that a medical expert seconded, according to The Chester Standard.
Letby’s attorney noted that the boy was vulnerable to infections and should have been at a specialist children’s hospital.
In addition to witness testimony, prosecutors have previously shown the jurors messages sent by Letby on the night of Baby C’s death.
She allegedly said that not being in room three, where Baby C was barely breathing, was “eating me up,” the Guardian reported.
Letby also said in the message that she wanted to return to room one — where her alleged first victim died — to “get the image out of my head.”
In another death, prosecutors said Letby tried to kill a baby girl at least three times before the girl died. She then allegedly sent a sympathy card to the girl’s grieving parents, People Magazine reported.
Prosecutors have shown jurors several notes by Letby in which she allegedly admits being responsible for the murders, the magazine reported.
"I killed them on purpose because I'm not good enough to care for them," prosecutors said she wrote.
In another she allegedly wrote: "Not good enough. I will never have children or marry. I will never know what it's like to have a family."
"I am a horrible evil person," she allegedly wrote in one note and added in capital letters: "I AM EVIL I DID THIS."
The trial, expected to last weeks, continues on Thursday.
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