Lucy Letby detectives investigating collapses of 12 more babies at hospitals where killer nurse worked find evidence of ‘malevolent acts’


Detectives who are probing the collapses of 12 more babies at the hospital where killer nurse Lucy Letby worked have found evidence of ‘malevolent acts’.

Letby, 33, was jailed for life on Monday after being found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder six others.

Following the verdict, Cheshire Police announced that it would be looking at the records of 4,000 babies admitted during her tenure as a nurse as part of Operation Hummingbird, the years-long probe that led to Letby’s conviction.

A source close to the investigation has claimed that the notes of a dozen babies who suffered unexplained collapses in hospital have been passed to experts.

Experts concluded that several of the near-misses carried indications of ‘malevolent’ involvement, The Times reports.

Lucy Letby being arrested for the first time in July 2018 under Operation Hummingbird, Cheshire Police’s probe into infant deaths at the Countess of Chester hospital

Letby began working at the Countess of Chester Hospital in 2012 and remained on wards until she was suspended from clinical duties in 2016 

She undertook training at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in 2012 and 2015. Cheshire Police are reviewing the cases of 4,000 babies admitted to both hospitals as part of the ‘second phase’ of Operation Hummingbird

A police mugshot of baby killer Lucy Letby. Police are investigating other incidents of infant collapses that may have happened under her watch

All of the babies survived their close calls and none were implicated in Letby’s trial, which concluded last week after jurors heard 10 months of traumatic evidence in relation to the nurse’s horrendous crimes.

Letby carried out her murders and attempts on babies’ lives between June 2015 and June 2016 while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

However, she also undertook training at Liverpool Women’s Hospital between October and December 2012 and January and February 2015.

Admissions across both hospitals are being considered by detectives as part of Operation Hummingbird, which is now said to be in a ‘second phase’ after Letby’s convictions were secured.

Parents have already come forward to claim that their children may have suffered under Letby’s callous care.

They include Mike and Victoria Whitfield, who said the nurse stood ‘blankly’ over their daughter Felicity’s bed at the Countess of Chester hospital before her lung collapsed. 

The Times also reports that nurses who appeared as prosecution witnesses during Letby’s trial have been interviewed about other incidents said to have occured while the nurse was still allowed to walk the corridors of neonatal wards.

One said she had been questioned by officers about three unexplained collapses at the Countess of Chester, including one said to have happened in 2012 – the year Letby arrived.

Calls have been made for bosses at the Countess of Chester to face corporate manslaughter charges amid allegations that concerns about Letby’s conduct on wards were swept under the rug. 

Dr Nigel Scawn, director of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said after the verdict: ‘Our staff are devastated by what happened and we are committed to ensuring lessons continue to be learnt.’

The Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust says it has been liaising with Cheshire Police ‘throughout this investigation and we will continue to do so going forward’. 

Letby was handed 14 whole-life sentences on Monday by judge Mr Justice Goss, who slammed the ‘cruelty and callousness’ of the worst child serial killer of modern British times.

In his damning sentencing remarks – which Letby refused to come to court to hear – the judge said Letby had demonstrated ‘pre-meditation, calculation and cunning’ in her actions.

She used a variety of methods on her victims, from injecting air into their bloodstream to poisoning them with insulin. In some cases, she overfed them with milk, or inflicted blunt trauma.

Throughout, the callous nurse sought to cover her tracks by taking part in vain resuscitation attempts and expressing doubt about her ability to care for babies with her colleagues.

Lucy Letby sought to cover her tracks by writing condolence cards (left) and expressing doubts about her abilities to colleagues. But in private she wrote twisted notes (right) including one which read: ‘I am evil, I did this’

Friends and colleagues are still struggling to come to terms with the idea that Letby – nicknamed ‘the innocent one’ by friends – is a baby killer

She even sent messages of condolence to the grieving parents upon whom she inflicted such appalling hurt. 

In several cases, she went on to search online for the grieving parents of her victims, taking a morbid fascination with their heartbreak after she chose to play God with their children’s lives.

Mr Justice Goss added: ‘The lives of new-born or relatively new-born babies were ended almost as soon as they began and lifelong harm has been caused, all in horrific circumstances. 

‘Loving parents have been robbed of their cherished children and others have to live with the physical and mental consequences of your actions. Siblings have been deprived of brothers and sisters. 

‘You have caused deep psychological trauma, brought enduring grief and feelings of guilt, caused strains in relationships and disruption to the lives of all the families of all your victims.

‘In their totality, the offences of murder and attempted murder were of exceptionally high seriousness and just punishment, according to law, requires a whole life order.’

Cheshire Police has vowed to complete a full investigation across the ‘entire footprint’ of Letby’s career.

Detective Superintendent Paul Hughes said: ‘The Operation Hummingbird team is committed to a complete and thorough investigation into the full period of time that Lucy Letby was employed as a nurse, either while at the Countess of Chester Hospital or on placement at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital. 

‘This investigation remains ongoing, through a transparent and open-minded process. 

‘The families of all babies who are part of this investigation have been informed and are supported. 

‘We will, of course, provide a more detailed update when we can.’

An excerpt of Lucy Letby’s diary appears to show coded messages that she inscribed marking the deaths of babies in her care

DS Hughes, who led the investigation into Letby, has sought to make clear that not every admission under Letby is being treated with suspicion. 

He added: ‘From 2012 through to 2016, there were more than 4,000 admissions of babies into the neonatal units of both the Countess of Chester Hospital and the Liverpool Women’s Hospital for us to work through. 

‘This does not mean we are investigating all 4,000. It just means that we are committed to a thorough review of every admission from a medical perspective, to ensure that nothing is missed throughout the entirety of her employment as a nurse. 

‘Only those cases highlighted as concerning medically will be investigated further.’


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