Letby, 32, has pleaded not guilty to the seven murder charges
By Andrew Mark Miller
In testimony given in the trial of alleged murderer nurse Lucy Letby, a doctor from the United Kingdom described how one baby’s condition worsened as a result of receiving care from the accused nurse.
Dr. David Harkness, a consultant pediatrician who was a registrar when Letby worked at the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital between 2015 and 2016, said in court this week: “It’s nothing I’ve seen before or since.”
Letby called Harkness into a room when a child started vomiting blood, and within an hour the child’s condition started rapidly deteriorating with purple patches appearing on his stomach, according to Harkness.
Harkness claimed that despite being aware of the child’s critical condition, he initially did not think the infant would survive.
An hour later, the child was dead.
“It happened right in front of our faces as we were standing there,” Harkness told the court.
Letby, 32, is standing trial in England for allegedly murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 more.
The prosecutor said Letby injected some infants with insulin or milk, while others she injected with air. She allegedly attempted to kill one baby three times.
Letby was a “constant, malevolent presence” in the neonatal unit of the hospital in northwestern England, prosecutor Nick Johnson argued before a jury when the trial commenced in September.
Johnson told jurors “a poisoner was at work” at the hospital, which he said had been marked by a “significant rise in the number of babies who were dying and in the number of serious catastrophic collapses” after January 2015, before which he said its rates of infant mortality were comparable to other busy hospitals.
Investigators found Letby was the “common denominator,” and that the infant deaths aligned with her shifting work hours.
Letby has pleaded not guilty.