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Lucy Letby 'offered to take photos of a baby girl soon after she had murdered her'

Lucy Letby is accused of killing babies while working as a nurse in 2015 and 2016

‘Smiling’ nurse Lucy Letby offered to take pictures of a little girl shortly after he murdered her on the fourth attempt, a court has heard.

Prosecutors claim the 33-year-old injured the premature baby by injecting air into her feeding tube and bloodstream before she eventually died in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital in the early hours of October 23, 2015.

Letby denies murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others in the unit on various dates between June 2015 and June 2016.

On Wednesday, jurors at Manchester Crown Court began to hear evidence about the nurse’s ninth alleged victim, Child I, who was born at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in August 2015 before later being transferred to the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Lucy Letby is accused of killing babies while working as a nurse in 2015 and 2016

Lucy Letby is accused of killing babies while working as a nurse in 2015 and 2016

In a statement read out in court, Child I’s mother said her daughter was around six weeks old when she thought she might be well enough to go home.

“I started to notice that she looked different,” she said. “She was looking around the room now, taking it all in.

“I was able to sit him on my lap. I remember looking at her and thinking “We’re going home”.

“She looked like a full-term baby, she didn’t look frail or small.”

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She said that around this time she was allowed to bathe her daughter for the first time and Letby helped prepare it.

She said: “I was so happy to be able to bathe her. [Child I] obviously appreciated because she was smiling, ‘Lucy even offered to take pictures with my cell phone, which I accepted.

I didn’t have much to do with Lucy. She always appeared reserved compared to the other nurses. She didn’t really interact with the parents.

The prosecution said Letby, from Hereford, first attempted to kill Child I during a day shift on September 30.

Letby allegedly murdered 'Baby I' after four attempts shortly after he was born in 2015

Letby allegedly murdered ‘Baby I’ after four attempts shortly after he was born in 2015

She reportedly struck again during night shifts on October 12 and 13 before the baby’s fatal collapse later that month.

The mother of child I said she was called home in the early hours of October 23 and told she and her partner needed to go to hospital immediately.

When they arrived, she saw Letby with another nurse, Ashleigh Hudson, and consultant Dr John Gibbs.

She said: ‘They were working to try to resuscitate [Child I]. I heard them all counting the times. “I asked Dr Gibbs how long they had been doing this to which he said 20 minutes.

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I could see that every time they pumped her stats increased, but when they stopped she stagnated each time.

“I remember thinking they couldn’t keep doing it. I told Dr. Gibbs “There’s nothing more you can do.”

After Child I was pronounced dead, her parents were moved to a private room at the time of visitation, she said.

Nurse Hudson and Letby asked her if she wanted to bathe Child I’s body, she said, and the girl’s father initially refused before she agreed.

The bereaved mother said: ‘She was smiling and continuing to talk about how she was present at the first bath and how [Child I] had loved it. “I wish she would stop talking.

“Eventually she got it and stopped. It wasn’t something we wanted to hear.

“I remember it was Lucy who packed [Child I’s] business to go home. “Dr. Gibbs mentioned an autopsy.

“I said I didn’t want her because I wanted her to go alone. He said I had no say because his death was unexpected and the results would be needed to empty the hospital.

When the case opened last October, prosecutor Nick Johnson KC said Child I’s death was an “extreme example, even by the standards of this all-encompassing case.”

He said Letby had sent a condolence card to the parents of the baby and the defendant had kept a picture of it on her phone.

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In his opening remarks, Ben Myers KC said the defense does not accept that Letby harmed Child I and that his series of clinical problems “may well have been unavoidable given his extreme prematurity”.

On the evening of September 30, 2015, Letby responded to a text message from a colleague, Dr Alison Ventress, who was planning to travel to New Zealand, the court heard.

Dr Ventress wrote: ‘Defo come to New Zealand then! I could use a friendly face!!’

Letby replied: ‘Haha not brave enough to quit everything.

“I couldn’t leave my parents. They would be completely devastated. It’s hard enough being away from me now and it’s only 100 miles away.

Dr. Ventress replied, “Aww, where are they based?”

Letby said, “Hereford. Came here for college and haven’t been back.

“They hate it and I feel very guilty staying here sometimes, but that’s what I want. Families are tough, aren’t they?

The next day, she texted her mother, Susan, “Guess who’s coming home for Christmas xxx.”

Susan Letby replied: “It’s fabulous, I could cry x”.

Letby said, “It doesn’t take much!” Nights 21st 22nd 23rd then New Year’s Nights & Day. Don’t tell daddy yet xx’.

Susan Letby said: “Okay, he’ll be happy, too Jane x”.

The trial continues Thursday.

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