Nurse Lucy Letby says it was ‘sickening’ to be accused of baby murders

Lucy Letby will give evidence seven months into her trial at Manchester Crown Court (Picture:PA/SWNS)

Nurse Lucy Letby told jurors her ‘whole world stopped’ when her job was taken away after being accused of killing babies.

She is alleged to have murdered seven and tried to kill 10 more while working on the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

Letby, 33, stepped into the witness box at Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday to begin giving evidence seven months into her trial.

She described how she ‘always wanted to work with children’ and cared for ‘hundreds’ of babies during the time the attacks are said to have occurred.

Asked if she wanted to hurt any of them, she replied: ‘No, that’s completely against being what a nurse is.’

Letby said she was ‘devastated’ when she was removed from clinical duties, told by the hospital trust, to check staff were competent to do their jobs.

She added: ‘It was life-changing, in that moment I was taken away from the support system I had on the unit, I was put in a role I did not enjoy and I had to pretend it was voluntary.

‘It made me question everything about myself.’

Letby said she was first informed she was being blamed for the deaths of babies in a letter from the Royal College of Nursing in September 2016.

Ben Myers KC, defending, asked how this made her feel.

Letby replied: ‘It was sickening. I just could not believe it. It was devastating. I don’t think you could be accused of anything worse than that.’

She said she felt isolated and her mental health deteriorated, adding that she is still taking anti-depressants prescribed by her GP at the time.

Mr Myers asked: ‘How bad did the negative feelings get?’

Letby replied: ‘There were times when I did not want to live. I thought of killing myself.’

Mr Myers said: ‘Had you done anything wrong?’

Letby replied: ‘No.’

Mr Myers said: ‘Then why did you think of killing yourself?’

Letby replied: ‘Because of what was being inferred.’

Her barrister asked if she is the same person as the 25, 26-year-old being blamed for what happened.

She replied: ‘Everything has completely changed. Everything about me and my life, the hopes I had for the future, everything has gone.’

Letby told the court about the three times she was arrested by police on suspicion of murder and attempted murder of babies.

She described her arrests as ‘traumatising’ and ‘the scariest thing I have ever been through’, and said she had now been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Need support?

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

If you’re a young person, or concerned about a young person, you can also contact PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide UK. Their HOPELINK digital support platform is open 24/7, or you can call 0800 068 4141, text 07860039967 or email: between the hours of 9am and midnight.

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