- By Daniel O’Donoghue
- BBC News
Nurse Lucy Letby wanted to attend the funeral of a little girl she allegedly murdered, a court has heard.
Ms Letby is charged with the fourth murder of the premature baby, known as Child I, on October 23, 2015.
Ms Letby, 33, allegedly pumped air into the infant’s stomach through a feeding tube at Countess of Chester Hospital.
She denies killing seven babies and conspiring to kill 10 others.
On Tuesday, Manchester Crown Court heard police interview summaries involving Child I and several other infants in the case.
Officers asked Ms Letby about her memories of Child I fainting and subsequent death in October 2015.
Detectives asked Miss Letby how she was dealing with the death of Child I, the fifth baby death in the unit in months.
“It affects everyone in the unit because we all know [Child I] pretty good and we got to know the family,” she said.
“I want to go to [Child I’s] funeral. Unfortunately, I was at work at the time, so I couldn’t go.”
Ms Letby was also asked about a condolence card she sent to Child I’s family before her funeral.
The card was titled “your loved one will be remembered with many smiles”.
Inside, Ms Letby wrote: “No words could make this time any easier.
“It is a real privilege to care for [Child I] and get to know you like a family – a family that always puts [Child I] first and do everything possible for her.
“She will always be a part of your life and we will never forget her. Thinking of you today and forever. Lots of love Lucy x.”
Ms Letby told police it was the first and only card she sent to a patient’s family.
When asked if this is normal, she said: “No. We don’t always understand a family as well as we do with a family. [Child I].”
The court heard Miss Letby had a photo of the card in her phone, and when asked why she took the picture, she said she “usually takes a picture of any card I send, even birthday cards – anything like that”.
When asked why she wanted to remember such a card, she said: “It’s annoying to lose [Child I] and I think it’s great to remember the kind words I shared with that family.”
Mrs Letby denied harming Child I and when asked about the medical experts’ conclusion – that the infant had been pumped with air – she explained that there were “other reasons why infants there may be air in the stomach”, such as when they swallow air.
Ms Letby was also asked about the demise of a premature baby girl, Child K, in February 2016.
Prosecutors said Ms Letby “interfered” with the infant’s breathing tube to kill her.
During police questioning, it was reported that Dr Ravi Jayaram entered the nursery and saw Ms. Letby standing near Child K, whose oxygen levels had dropped to dangerous levels.
Ms Letby told police she “didn’t remember” Child K collapsing, adding: “I didn’t break her tube.”
She said if she noticed Child K’s saturation, she “would call for help”.
The court also heard interview summaries involving twin boys, Child L and M, who Crown alleges Mrs Letby attempted murder in April 2016.
Before that, the court had heard that baby M suffered a sudden and life-threatening stroke at about 4 pm on April 9. His heart rate and breathing rate dropped suddenly and he needed full resuscitation by paramedics.
During the boy’s resuscitation, the doctors recorded the emergency medications given to Child M on a tissue.
The scarf was later found at Miss Letby’s home address during a police search in 2018.
Ms Letby, originally from Hereford, told police in the interview she couldn’t remember why she brought it home and it was a “mistake”.
She said it was “set aside and then forgotten” and denied keeping the scarf to “remind” her of Child M’s downfall.
Police also seized Ms Letby’s diary, which contained an entry in April 2016 that read “LD [long day] twins”, while the next day it reads “LD Twins resus”, referring to Children L and M.
Ms Letby said she recorded this because it was a “significant event” and denied causing any harm to the twins.