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Lucy Letby sentenced to life in prison for attempting to murder premature baby

Child serial killer Lucy Letby has been sentenced to life in prison for the attempted murder of a baby girl.

Letby, 34, was earlier this week found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of the attack on the newborn during a night shift on the neo-natal unit of Countess of Chester Hospital in February 2016.

The former neonatal nurse is already serving 14 whole life orders for the murders of seven babies and the attempted murder of six others between June 2015 and June 2016 following a lengthy trial that concluded last August. She will now service 15 whole life orders.

A retrial was ordered on a single allegation concerning the baby girl – only identified as Child K – after the first jury could not reach a verdict. A second jury on Tuesday took just three and a half hours to convict Letby of the offence.

Sentencing Letby this morning, the judge addressed the convicted killer: “Only you know the reason or reasons for your murderous campaign”.

He said the former neonatal nurse had committed crimes of “calculated callus cruelty” and she had “coldly denied any responsibility for any wrongdoing” with “no remorse”.

The court earlier this week heard how Letby, of Hereford, targeted the “very premature” baby after she was moved from the delivery room to the unit’s intensive care room in the early hours of 17 February.

The youngster, born at 25 weeks’ gestation and weighing just 692g, was said by the prosecution to be the “epitome of fragility”.

About 90 minutes after her birth, Letby dislodged the breathing tube through which she was being ventilated with air and oxygen.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Ravi Jayaram caught her “virtually red-handed” as he entered nursery one at about 3.45am and went on to intervene and resuscitate Child K.

Court artist drawing by Elizabeth Cook dated 24/06/24 of Lucy Letby giving evidence during her trial at Manchester Crown Court, where she is accused of attempting to murder a baby girl in February 2016 when she worked as a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital's neonatal unit. Child serial killer nurse Lucy Letby will be sentenced today for the attempted murder of a baby girl. Issue date: Friday July 5, 2024. PA Photo. On Tuesday, Letby, 34, was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of the attack on the newborn infant during a night shift at the Countess of Chester Hospital's neo-natal unit in February 2016. See PA story COURTS Letby. Photo credit should read: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire
Court artist drawing by Elizabeth Cook dated 24/06/24 of Lucy Letby giving evidence during her trial at Manchester Crown Court, where she is accused of attempting to murder a baby girl in (Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire)

Dr Jayaram told jurors he saw “no evidence” that she had done anything to help the deteriorating baby as he walked in and saw her standing next to the infant’s incubator.

He said he heard no call for help from Letby or alarms sounding as Child K’s blood oxygen levels dropped.

From the witness box, Letby told the jury of six women and six men she had no recollection of the event described by Dr Jayaram and did not accept it had taken place.

Letby denied she did anything harmful to Child K and added that she had not committed any of the offences she had been convicted of. The convicted killer also denied the prosecution’s claims that she interfered with the infant’s breathing tube on two other occasions during the course of the same shift to create the impression it was accidentally displaced.

Child K was transferred to a specialist hospital later the same day because of her extreme prematurity and died there three days later.

More than two years later on a late Friday night in April 2018, Letby searched on Facebook for Child K’s surname.

The Crown said it was part of a pattern of similar Facebook searches which showed Letby’s “fascination” with the babies she had murdered and attempted to murder, and with their families.

Letby was initially charged with the murder of Child K but the charge was dropped in June 2022 as the prosecution offered no evidence.

The convicted child killer sought to challenge her convictions at the Court of Appeal in May bid to challenge her convictions from last year in May – which she lost.

Cheshire Constabulary said its review of the care of some 4,000 babies admitted to hospital while Letby was working as a neonatal nurse remains ongoing.

A separate corporate manslaughter investigation at the hospital by Cheshire Constabulary also remains ongoing.

The public inquiry into how Letby was able to commit her crimes on the unit is set to begin at Liverpool Town Hall on September 10.

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