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Lucy Letby denies being a ‘very calculating’ killer with ‘a sob story’

Lucy Letby has denied she is a ‘calculated’ liar who had murdered ‘many children’ on a hospital neonatal unit.

The nurse – on her 14th day of evidence – was accused of ‘deliberately misleading’ jurors with a ‘sob story’ over her removal from the job she said she loved.

Letby, 33, continued to work at the Countess of Chester Hospital from July 2016 on clerical duties, up to when she was arrested two years later on suspicion of harming babies in her care.

She is accused of the murder of seven babies and the attempted murder of 10 others, and denies all the charges.

Letby previously told Manchester Crown Court that she felt ‘isolated’, as she was told she could not talk to colleagues – apart from two fellow nurses and a doctor who the Crown says she ‘had a crush on’.

On Friday, prosecutor Nick Johnson KC presented Letby with a file of messages and photographs from her mobile phone, together with diary entries, from July 2016 onwards.

Mr Johnson asked Letby: ‘What’s in the document?’

Letby said: ‘My social life.’ Mr Johnson said: ‘You know it disproves everything you said about contact with friends, don’t you?’

Letby said: ‘I disagree.’

Mr Johnson said: ‘We find times, times and more times of you out drinking with other people from the unit?’

‘Yes,’ said Letby.

Mr Johnson said: ‘It is peppered with you out socialising with lots of different people on that unit.’

Letby said: ‘Yes, at times. Yes.’

Mr Johnson said: ‘All the time really. You had a very, very active social life, didn’t you?’

‘Yes,’ said Letby.

The prosecutor pointed out an ‘away day’ to London in June 2017 with the registrar ‘who is not your boyfriend’.

Mr Johnson asked: ‘Did you stay overnight?’

‘No,’ said Letby.

‘He is a married man. We were not in a relationship at all. It was a friendship.’

Mr Johnson said: ‘You were having a good time, weren’t you? Drinking fizz, out on the razzle, going to the races.’

Letby replied: ‘Yes, there were times over those years when I had good times.’

The court has heard Letby says she wrote a Post-it note after her removal from the unit when she claimed she worried whether she had made mistakes at work.

She wrote: ‘I am an awful person…. I AM EVIL I DID THIS.’

Mr Johnson said: ‘You felt like this because you knew you had killed and grievously injured these children.’

‘No,’ said Letby.

Mr Johnson said: ‘That’s the truth, isn’t it? You are a murderer.’

‘No,’ said Letby.

Mr Johnson said: ‘You have murdered many children.’

Letby said: ‘I have never murdered a child or harmed any of them.’

Mr Johnson said: ‘You are a calculated woman aren’t you Miss Letby? You tell lies deliberately, don’t you?’

Letby said: ‘No.’

Mr Johnson said: ‘And the reason you tell lies is to get sympathy from people, isn’t it?’

‘No,’ said Letby.

Mr Johnson went on: ‘Trying to get attention from people.’

‘No,’ repeated the defendant.

Mr Johnson said: ‘And killing these children, you got quite a lot of attention, didn’t you?’

Letby said: ‘I didn’t kill any children.’

Mr Johnson said: ‘You are getting quite a lot of attention now, aren’t you.’

Letby did not reply.

The defendant, from Hereford, denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016.

She told her barrister that not all the photographs were about ‘drinking fizz and going to the races’.

Jurors were also shown a photograph of Letby and her father, John, on holiday in July 2016.

In August 2016, the nurse photographed her parents on a trip to Cheshire and another picture was taken with her two cousins.

On New Year’s Eve 2016 Letby wrote on Facebook: ‘I’m not the same person I was when 2016 began but I’m fortunate to have my own home.

‘I’ve met some incredible people and I have family and friends who have stood by me regardless.

‘Thank you to those have kept me smiling. Wishing every happiness to us all in 2017.’

Letby’s barrister, Ben Myers KC, asked Letby: ‘What had changed?’

She responded: ‘I was not the same person. I had lost my confidence. I was just not the same person.’

Mr Myers continued: ‘Some people may think from looking at these photographs that you were enjoying yourself. How does that tally up with you saying you had lost your confidence?’

Letby replied: ‘Despite what was going on I had to try and find some degree of quality of life. There are things I enjoyed over the years but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I had changed as a person.’

The accused nurse admitted she did go on to have contact with colleagues following her removal from the profession, but it was ‘purely social’.

Mr Myers asked: ‘Did you ever want to hurt any child to be happy?’

‘No,’ said Letby.

Mr Myers said: ‘To be excited?’

‘No,’ said Letby.

Mr Myers said: ‘Or because you were bored?’

Letby said: ‘No.’

Mr Myers said: ‘To get attention from anybody?’

‘No,’ said Letby.

Mr Myers said: ‘Have you ever wanted to hurt anybody in your care?’

‘No,’ said Letby.

Mr Myers said: ‘How content were you in your life before you began to get the blame for all of this?’

Letby replied: ‘I had a very happy life.’

The trial, which is ongoing, was adjourned until next Wednesday after Letby completed her evidence.

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