Death of baby in Lucy Letby case came ‘out of the blue’, says witness


    The death of a baby allegedly murdered by nurse Lucy Letby came as a “big surprise” and was “completely out of the blue”, her trial has heard. The newborn twin died at the Countess of Chester Hospital following a sudden collapse more than 24 hours following his premature birth. Manchester Crown Court heard that Child A and his sister, Child B, were moved to the hospital’s neo-natal unit on the evening of June 7, 2015.

    Paediatric registrar Dr Sally Ogden clocked off on June 8 before Child A’s rapid deterioration on the night shift.

    Medics tried to resuscitate him but their efforts were in vain as he was pronounced dead shortly before 9pm.

    Letby, 32, is said to have killed Child A – within 90 minutes of coming on duty – by injecting a fatal amount of air into his bloodstream shortly before the collapse.

    Dr Ogden returned to duty for the following day and she and her team were told by a fellow doctor that Child A had died during the evening, the court was told.

    In a witness statement, the registrar said: “I remember this came as a big surprise. It was completely out of the blue and very upsetting. (Child A) showed no signs of any problems throughout the day. He was handling well. I had no concerns at all for him or his twin sister.”

    The defendant is said to have attempted to murder Child B using the same method on the night shift of June 9.

    She is accused of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of 10 others.

    Nurse Melanie Taylor told the jury of eight women and four men she handed over the care of Child A to Letby at the end of her day shift on June 8.

    Giving evidence screened from the public gallery and the defendant, Ms Taylor said Child A was in receipt of respiratory support condition and was “stable” but did not have intravenous fluids “for a couple of hours”.

    The court was heard there were several “hiccups” as a cannula to a blood vessel stopped working which was then followed by two failed attempts to insert a catheter in the correct position.

    A “long line” plastic tube was eventually fitted and fluids were given at 8.05pm, co-signed by Ms Taylor and Letby.

    Ms Taylor said she was typing up notes at a nearby computer when Child A “started deteriorating”.

    She said: “His heart rate and saturations dropped, and Lucy Letby was standing by the incubator. Initially I stayed there (by the computer) because he was fairly stable and Lucy was there. When I actually realised he was not recovering from the deterioration I got up to help.”

    She recalled Letby giving breaths to Child A via a face mask at some point but only had a “vague recollection” of the resuscitation efforts.

    Ms Taylor said: “It was a bit of a blur. I knew it was lengthy and carried on. I kept thinking he was going to recover and he didn’t. I was not directly involved with the resuscitation. From what I remember I was drawing up the emergency drugs, the adrenaline, for someone to administer.”

    Earlier the jury was told that on June 27, 2015 – when Letby is said to have killed three babies up to that date – the defendant texted a colleague: “Ha ha nodding off in the cinema is not a good look. I had a mini-meltdown last night about what happened at work…I just need time off with mum and dad.”

    A police intelligence analyst agreed with Ben Myers QC, representing Letby, the defendant made a “substantial number” of Facebook searches for parents of children who are not subject to the allegations she faces, as well as searching for parents whose children she is said to have harmed.

    A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of surviving and dead children allegedly attacked by Letby, and also prohibits identifying parents or witnesses connected with the children.

    Letby, originally from Hereford, denies all the offences said to have been committed between June 2015 and June 2016.


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