MANCHESTER, England – A video played in a British courtroom Nov. 14 showed a hospital’s neonatal unit where nurse Lucy Letby allegedly murdered a newborn baby before attempting to murder his twin brother.
The video shows the position of two incubators where the twins were placed next to each other after being born premature.
Letby, 32, who is on trial in the United Kingdom, is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others at the Countess of Chester Hospital during a year-long killing spree between 2015 and 2016.
It is alleged she killed some babies by injecting insulin, milk or even air into their tiny bodies.
The jury viewed the video, shot during police investigations, of Room 1 of the hospital’s neonatal unit where Letby allegedly injected a fatal amount of air into the bloodstream of one baby, referred to as Child E.
Prosecutors allege she went on to try and kill his twin brother – Child F – the following day by injecting insulin into a nutrition bag.
Giving testimony, the twins’ mother previously recalled how she heard Child E’s “horrendous” screams and saw blood around his mouth when she walked into a room on the night of Aug. 3, 2015, and found him alone with the nurse.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a jury that she was left “frightened” after seeing her 5-day-old son because she “knew something was very wrong”.
She asked Letby what was wrong with her son, and the nurse had told her that the bleeding had been caused by a feeding tube rubbing his throat, the court heard.
The mother returned to the postnatal ward, as instructed by Letby, but Child E’s condition deteriorated. When the mother later returned to the neonatal ward, she found medics trying to resuscitate him.
She told the court that her son’s death had left her “broken” and she had been unable to bathe him afterwards, so Letby had done it instead.
The jury heard how the infant lost a quarter of his blood volume before he collapsed and died.
Giving testimony, expert medical witness Dr. Dewi Evans said he thought Child E suffered a fatal air embolism – a blockage of the blood supply – after a treating medic noticed “unusual” purple patches on the boy’s abdomen.
A second major issue was “massive” hemorrhaging from the upper gastrointestinal tract that he thought did not have an innocent explanation.
Dr. Evans said he believed Child E suffered trauma caused by some form of injury from medical equipment, such as a plastic tube or an instrument known as an introducer, a thin wire surrounded by plastic which can be used to intubate a baby.
The doctor said that, in his opinion, Baby E was “stable” leading up to the start of the hemorrhaging during the night-shift.
While cross-examining, Letby’s lawyer, Ben Myers, defending Letby claiming that the bleeding could have been caused by some form of ulceration or bleeding from the stomach from natural causes.
However, Evans disagreed.
Fellow expert medical witness, Dr. Sandie Bohin, agreed with Evans that an air embolism was the cause of death.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson told the jury at the start of the trial that Letby was a “constant, malevolent presence” at the hospital’s neonatal unit.
It is alleged she was the “common denominator” and the babies’ deaths coincided with her shifts.
Letby denies all 22 charges against her, and the trial is expected to last up to six months.