A hospital nurse accused of murdering seven babies and murdering 10 others was interrupted by the mother of one of her alleged victims as she attacked her son, a court has heard.
Jurors were told the mother of twins was unaware at the time of what was happening to her son in the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit, where nurse Lucy Letby is said to have assaulted the 17 children.
The mother had gone to her premature twin sons, Child E and Child F, on the evening of August 3, 2015 and found E “distraught” and bleeding from the mouth, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Nick Johnson KC, who continued the prosecution into a second day, said Letby, 32, tried to reassure the mother by telling her a registrar would check on the youth’s condition and that she should leave the unit.
“‘Trust me, I’m a nurse.’ That’s what she (the mother) said,” Mr Johnson said.
“We suspect she was fobbed off by Lucy Letby.
“We say she interrupted Lucy Letby attacking (Child E), although she didn’t realize it at the time.”
Child E suffered significant blood loss later that evening, with a attending registrar saying he had never seen bleeding of this magnitude in a small baby.
Following the death of child E. in the early hours of August 4, 2015, Letby allegedly made “fraudulent” nursing notes that were “false, misleading and intended to cover her tracks.”
And the day after Child E’s alleged murder, Letby is accused of attempting to kill his twin brother, Child F, using what is claimed to be poison for the first time by injecting a liquid sac containing insulin.
She continued to show a “very unusual interest” in the twins’ family, Mr Johnson said, with social media searches for them two days after the youngster’s death and again on numerous occasions, including on Christmas Day.
The jury has now heard details of seven of the 17 children Letby is said to have murdered or attempted to murder.
The court had previously heard that Letby allegedly murdered a five-day-old boy, Child C, just days after it was claimed she had killed another baby.
Letby allegedly injected air into the tiny, premature baby’s stomach through a nasal tube, causing his breathing and heart to stop.
Letby’s first alleged murder of Child A was reported to have taken place on June 8, 2015. She is accused of injecting air into the boy’s bloodstream and attacking his twin sister, Child B, in a similar manner, causing her to collapse.
Letby worked the night shift on June 13 and into the next day, caring for a baby, with Child C being looked after by another nurse, the court heard.
Child C’s nurse was in a care ward when the baby’s monitor went off the alarm around 11:15 p.m., the court was told.
When she got to his room, Letby was standing next to his incubator – the third time in a week after a baby collapsed, showing the accused’s alleged “continuous malicious presence”, jurors were told.
Despite several hours of resuscitation attempts, Child C was pronounced dead at 5:58 a.m. on June 14.
Mr Johnson said: “Lucy Letby was the only person working the night shift when Child C died who had also been working one of the shifts when Child A died and his twin sister, Child B, collapsed.”
It is alleged that Child D was also murdered by Letby by injecting air into the baby’s bloodstream.
She was responding well to treatment in the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit until her condition worsened and she collapsed three times in the early hours of June 22, 2015, the court heard.