Lucy Letby is the 32-year-old British former nurse now considered the worst pediatric serial killer in modern UK history.
Lucy Letby, a suspect in the deaths of eight babies, and was arrested in 2018.
The authorities have yet to make public the evidence they have against her.
- Lucy Letby was a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital in the UK. She was arrested in 2018 on suspicion of murdering 8 babies and attempting to murder 6 others between 2015-2016.
- Letby pleaded not guilty to the charges when she appeared in court in 2020. Her trial began in October 2022.
- In August 2023, Letby was found guilty of murdering 7 babies and attempting to murder 10 others. She injected babies with air, overdosed them with insulin, and poisoned them.
- Letby’s motives are unclear but prosecutors suggested she enjoyed the attention when she caused babies to suddenly deteriorate and then revived them. She searched for victims’ families online.
- Letby is from Hereford, UK. She studied nursing at the University of Chester. She had worked at the hospital since qualifying as a nurse in 2011.
- Letby was unmarried. Prosecutors claimed she had a secret affair with a married doctor at the hospital, which she denied.
- Letby denied all charges against her. She will be sentenced in August 2023 and faces life imprisonment. The case is considered the most shocking in modern British legal history.
Lucy Letby Arrested for Murdering Babies
In July 2018, Lucy Letby, a nurse at Countess of Chester Hospital in the UK, was arrested on suspicion of murdering eight babies and attempting to murder six others. This followed a year-long investigation into the high infant mortality rate at the hospital between 2015-2016.
After Letby’s arrest, police searched her home in Chester. The investigation was subsequently widened to include Liverpool Women’s Hospital, where Letby had also worked. No evidence of harm to patients was initially found at Liverpool Hospital. However, following Letby’s conviction, police began looking into her entire career, including her time at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
Letby was released on bail in July 2018 as inquiries continued. She was rearrested in June 2019 in connection with eight alleged murders and nine attempted murders of babies. Letby was rearrested again in November 2020. In November 2020, she was charged with eight counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder and denied bail.
In August 2023, after a lengthy trial, Lucy Letby was found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill ten others while working as a neonatal nurse. She will be sentenced on August 21, 2023. This makes her the worst child serial killer in modern British history.
Previously Lucy Letby pleads “not guilty”
Over a video link from prison, 31-year-old Lucy Letby pleaded “not guilty” 18 times to charges read out before her at Manchester Crown Court.
The charges alleged Letby murdered eight newborn babies and attempted to murder ten others over the course of a year while working as a neonatal nurse at Countess of Chester Hospital.
Despite the number of charges, Letby denied murdering any babies or attempting to murder any during her time working at the hospital’s neonatal unit.
Letby’s “not guilty” pleas were given via video from HMP Peterborough prison where she has been held on remand. Her pleas were given before Manchester Crown Court as her trial on the allegations continues.
Lengthy Trial Involving Multiple Victims’ Families and Found Guilty
In October 2022, the trial of Lucy Letby began at Manchester Crown Court, presided over by Mr. Justice Goss. Letby pleaded not guilty to 7 counts of murder and 15 counts of attempted murder related to 10 babies under her care at Countess of Chester Hospital between 2015-2016.
The trial lasted over 9 months, concluding in July 2023. Families of the victims Letby was accused of harming were in attendance throughout the lengthy proceedings.
The jury returned verdicts over several days beginning August 8, 2023. However, the details were not made public until the final verdicts were returned on August 18.
Ultimately, the jury found Lucy Letby guilty of 7 counts of murder and 6 counts of attempted murder. She was found not guilty of 2 attempted murder charges. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on 6 other attempted murder charges.
Letby was found to have murdered and attempted to murder babies through methods like injecting air intravenously, administering insulin, overfeeding, and using medical tools. She is considered the most prolific child serial killer in modern British history.
In addition to the 7 murder convictions, Letby was found guilty of 7 counts of attempted murder related to 6 babies during the same time period.
Despite denying all 22 charges and blaming hospital conditions, Lucy Letby was convicted of horrendous crimes. She is scheduled to be sentenced on August 21st, 2023 at Manchester Crown Court and faces life imprisonment.
Lucy Letby’s motives for murdering babies
The exact reasons Lucy Letby killed and attempted to kill multiple babies at the UK hospital where she worked may never be fully understood. However, some insights emerged about what may have motivated the neonatal nurse.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson put forth the theory that Letby got pleasure from harming babies without medical justification. He then suggested she portrayed herself as the rescuer when they declined after her intentional acts.
After harming some infants, Letby allegedly made troubling comments just before their deaths that seemed to signal she knew what was coming. For example, after her final murder in June 2016, she said to doctors about the baby: “He’s not making it out of here alive, is he?” The newborn triplet died soon after.
Additionally, Johnson directly accused Letby of “getting a thrill” from witnessing the chaos and grief caused by her crimes. When giving testimony, she denied this charge, replying: “Absolutely not, no.”
Johnson accused Letby of “getting a thrill” from witnessing the chaos and grief after intentionally harming infants. When giving testimony, she denied this, replying: “Absolutely not, no.”
Letby frequently looked up victims’ families online, seemingly seeking details about their grief, supporting the idea she enjoyed their anguish.
Prosecutors suggested Letby’s affair with a doctor who treated the babies meant she may have harmed them to get his urgent attention.
Letby’s handwritten notes admitted to intentionally harming infants. Specific statements included: “I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough to care for them,” and “I AM EVIL I DID THIS”. She also wrote: “I will never have children or marry. I will never know what it’s like to have a family.” However, Letby dismissed the notes as writings under mental duress.
Lucy Letby Early Life and Becoming a Nurse
Lucy Letby was born in 1990 in Hereford, England to working-class parents John Letby and Susan Letby. She grew up as an only child in a small rural city located along the River Wye. From a young age, Letby expressed aspirations of caring for infants and helping families.
“I have always wanted to work with children,” she told the jury, adding she had chosen A-levels “which would best support that career”.
As a student, Letby attended a local comprehensive school and sixth-form college near her hometown. For her A-Levels, Letby strategically selected science subjects including Biology and Chemistry. According to her testimony, she purposefully chose courses that would maximize her chances of being accepted into a good university nursing program and start her on the path to becoming a neonatal nurse.
After finishing compulsory education, Letby left home to attend the University of Chester nearly two hours away. She was the very first member of her family to pursue higher education. At the university, Letby enrolled in the Institution’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.
During her studies, Letby undertook training placements at the Countess of Chester Hospital located nearby the university campus. According to her testimony, the majority of Letby’s placements occurred at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
In 2011, Letby graduated from the University of Chester with first-class honors after completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. Later that same year, she passed her Nursing and Midwifery Council exams, allowing her to register as a Registered Children’s Nurse officially.
In January 2012, Letby landed her first nursing job as a Band 5 Nurse at the Countess of Chester’s neonatal unit, the very same hospital ward where she had trained as a student. Then in early 2015, after 3 years of exemplary performance, Letby earned the qualification to work as an intensive care nurse caring for critically ill babies requiring advanced support.
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Even when she moved away from home to a £180,000 house in Chester, Letby made sure to frequently visit her proud parents who publicly celebrated her career accomplishments in the local Hereford newspaper.
Friends, neighbors, fellow nurses – everyone described Letby as a gentle young woman who used to say she “couldn’t kill a fly.”
Prosecution Claimed Lucy Letby Was Having an Affair with a Doctor
According to available reports, Lucy Letby has never been married. At age 31, her marital status is by all accounts unmarried without a husband.
However, during her recent trial, prosecutors brought forth accusations that Letby was engaged in a secret extra-marital relationship with a married doctor who worked at the same hospital. The name of the doctor remains confidential for legal reasons.
When questioned, Lucy Letby consistently denied having an inappropriate relationship or affair with the unnamed doctor at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
Despite her denials, texts presented as evidence during the trial showed Letby and the doctor frequently messaging each other using love emojis. Records also revealed they had met up alone multiple times, including taking a day trip together to London while she was still employed at the hospital.
Potentially the most damning suggestion of an affair came from Letby’s own handwritten notes discovered after her arrest. In the notes, she wrote depressingly about being destined to remain single and childless, saying: “I will never have children or marry. I will never know what it’s like to have a family.”
Letby Reportedly Dating Sands at Time of Arrest
According to available information, Lucy Letby had a boyfriend named Jordan Sands when she was arrested in 2018 for the murders and attempted murders of multiple infants under her care at Countess of Chester Hospital. Letby and Sands were allegedly in a romantic relationship during the crimes.
By all accounts, Letby was highly secretive about her relationship with Sands. She never mentioned him publicly or shared any details, photos, or social media posts indicating she had a boyfriend.
While she was purportedly dating Sands, evidence emerged during Letby’s trial that she was simultaneously having a covert affair with a married doctor colleague.
Messages Showed Deception About Crimes Courtroom screenshots of Letby’s messages with her doctor lover showed her deceptively portraying herself as an innocent, distraught nurse, while he comforted her.
Lucy Letby’s Career as a Neonatal Nurse
Letby began working as a children’s nurse after graduating from the University of Chester nursing program in 2011. She started her career in the neonatal unit at Countess of Chester Hospital, where she had trained as a student nurse for 3 years. According to Letby’s own statements, she enjoyed caring for critically ill newborns and seeing them progress.
By 2015, after 3 diligent years as a Band 5 neonatal nurse, Letby earned qualifications to work in the neonatal intensive care unit caring for babies needing advanced life support. She described undergoing extra training to enhance her skills in this specialty.
In addition to nursing at Chester Hospital, Letby completed training placements in the children’s ward at Liverpool Women‘s Hospital between 2012-2015. A hospital spokesperson confirmed an ongoing investigation into her time there, although no evidence of harm was initially found.
Concerns about Letby’s involvement in a series of neonatal deaths and harms emerged by mid-2016. After being removed from duty, Letby launched an internal grievance arguing her removal was orchestrated without evidence. Documents described the consultants accusing Letby of incompetence and worse.
In September 2016, Lucy Letby was officially removed from her duties caring for premature babies and ill newborns in the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit.
Following her dismissal from hands-on nursing responsibilities, Letby launched an internal grievance against the hospital trust disputing her removal.
Official hospital trust documents obtained by HSJ supported Letby’s position. The records stated the trust found Letby’s removal had been implemented by consultants without hard evidence and questioned whether the doctors were being fully honest and objective.
Letby persistently maintained her innocence. But following a lengthy investigation and trial, she was convicted in 2022 of murdering 7 babies and attempting to kill 10 more at the Chester Hospital neonatal unit between 2015-2016.