UK nurse found guilty of murdering 7 babies on neonatal unit

UK nurse found guilty of murdering 7 babies on neonatal unit

33-year-old also been convicted of attempting to kill 6 other infants during same period of time

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) - Nurse Lucy Letby has been found guilty of murdering seven babies on a neonatal unit when working at the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwestern England, police said on Friday.

Following a two-year investigation, Cheshire Police arrested the 33-year-old nurse in July 2018 at her home and initially released her on bail. She was arrested three more times in the following years before being charged in November 2020.

The investigations began when there was an increase in near-fatal collapses and unexplained deaths of premature babies at the hospital she worked as a nurse from June 2015 to June 2016.

A police report showed Letby injected the babies with air and excess milk and poisoned them with insulin.

After a series of partial verdicts over several days, she was convicted of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six other infants. The judge overlooking the case issued reporting restrictions until the end of the trial.

The trial started in October 2022, during which the prosecution identified Letby as a “calculating and devious” opportunist who “gaslighted” colleagues to cover her “murderous assaults”.

Senior investigating officer Paul Hughes said: “This has been an investigation like no other – in scope, complexity and magnitude. We had to deal with this as 17 separate investigations – we are normally used to dealing with one murder or attempted murder investigation at a time, let alone something on this scale.”

Janet Moore, a family liaison coordinator at Cheshire Constabulary, read a statement on behalf of victims’ families outside the Manchester Crown Court.

“Today, justice has been served. But this justice will not take away from the extreme hurt, anger and distress that we have all had to experience,” she added.

In a statement on BBC News, Tony Chambers, the former chief executive of the Countess of Chester Hospital, said he is “truly sorry” for what the families have gone through.

The British government ordered an independent inquiry that will look into the circumstances around the deaths and near-fatal incidents of the babies.

"Following on from the work already underway by NHS England, it will help us identify where and how patient safety standards failed to be met and ensure mothers and their partners rightly have faith in our healthcare system," said Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay in a statement.

As the UK’s most prolific child serial killer, Lucy Letby will be sentenced at the same court on Monday.

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