Lucy Letby trial: Nurse says 'dirty' ward was factor in baby deaths

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Lucy LetbyImage source, SWNS

Image caption,

Nurse Lucy Letby, 33, denies murdering 7 babies and attempting to execution 10 others

By Daniel O'Donoghue

BBC News

Nurse Lucy Letby has blamed "dirty" conditions arsenic a origin successful the deaths of babies she is accused of killing.

The 33-year-old is accused of murdering 7 babies and attempting to execution 10 others astatine Countess of Chester Hospital betwixt 2015 and 2016.

Continuing her defence, Ms Letby told the tribunal the infirmary had plumbing problems with "raw sewage coming retired of sinks" successful 1 of the nurseries.

The nurse, primitively from Hereford, denies each 22 charges against her.

She said: "It's a contributory origin if the portion is soiled and unit were incapable to lavation their hands properly.

"Potentially that's not a harmless moving environment."

Earlier, the assemblage was besides told she had "made up" parts of her grounds astir a babe twin, who she is said to person murdered, and was repeatedly accused of lying and adding details to her account.

She was asked astir her recollections of the babe lad - referred to successful tribunal arsenic Child E - who she is said to person archetypal injured, causing a bleed, and past killed with an injection of air.

Child E was a duplicate and was calved prematurely alongside member Child F successful precocious July 2015.

Image caption,

Lucy Letby denies murdering and attempting to execution babies astatine the Countess of Chester Hospital

The assemblage astatine Manchester Crown Court has heard that Ms Letby was the designated caregiver caring for some boys connected the nighttime displacement of 3 August.

The tribunal has antecedently heard the parent of the twins heard Child E making "horrendous" sounds and recovered him bleeding from the rima erstwhile she arrived astatine the nursery astatine 21:00 with breastmilk.

Under transverse examination, Ms Letby was asked whether Child E's mother's recollection was correct.

She said she "accepted" that mothers bring bosom beverage to the portion and that was a "normal occurrence", but could not "specifically" callback Child E's parent visiting.

Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC enactment it to Ms Letby that Child E was bleeding astatine 21:00.

She said "I don't agree", adding: "There wasn't humor anterior to 22:00."

Mr Johnson referenced Ms Letby's archetypal defence statement, agreed successful February 2021, successful which she said Child E's parent "may have" visited "later than 21:00".

Image source, Elizabeth Cook/PA

Image caption,

The caregiver is being cross-examined by prosecution barrister Nick Johnson KC

"You're present saying it cannot person been earlier 22:00," Mr Johnson said.

Ms Letby told the tribunal she could not accidental "definitively" what clip it was but repeated that "there was nary humor anterior to 22:00".

Mr Johnson responded: "You're lying aren't you Ms Letby?". "No", she responded. 

The barrister enactment it to Ms Letby that Child E's parent made a telephone telephone to her hubby astatine 21:11, successful which she expressed interest astir the humor astir their babe boy's mouth.

Ms Letby accepted determination was a telephone call, arsenic has been established done telephone records, but did not judge the contented of the conversation.

"Do you judge what she and her hubby said was said successful that call," Mr Johnson asked.

Mr Johnson went connected to impeach Ms Letby of lying and adding further item to her statement, which she denied.

The caregiver told the tribunal that if she had "seen humor astatine immoderate constituent I would person escalated that to somebody".

Image source, PA Media

Image caption,

The attacks are alleged to person taken spot astatine the Countess of Chester Hospital

Mr Johnson noted that a doc was not called to respond to the humor until 22:00, an hr aft Child E's parent said she saw it.

Mr Johnson again accused Ms Letby of not telling the information and enactment it to her that Child E was bleeding arsenic a effect of her having "inflicted an injury" connected him.

"I don't judge that. That did not happen," she said.

"You killed [Child E] didn't you?" Mr Johnson said.

"No," Ms Letby responded.

The caregiver earlier said Child E's deterioration and decease could person been the effect of "medical incompetence" of doctors connected displacement that night.

She told the tribunal she thought "doctors could person acted sooner to respond to [Child E's] bleeding issue".

Ms Letby was besides asked if she reported the contented of sewage, to which she replied "not personally, no".

Mr Johnson past turned to a premature babe girl, Child G, who Ms Letby is accused of overfeeding with beverage done a nasogastric conduit successful an effort to termination her successful September 2015.

The tribunal has heard Child G was clinically unchangeable until 7 September, erstwhile she projectile vomited astatine astir 02:00.

Ms Letby said the vomit "potentially" could person been caused by a nursing workfellow having mis-measured a feed.

"I can't accidental for definite that didn't happen. I'm not saying she did bash that, but it is simply a possibility", Ms Letby said.

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