How Lucy Letby’s parents watched their only daughter every day in court and took her on holiday every year – and her mum was so upset when the nurse was arrested she told police: ‘I did it, take me instead”
Lucy Letby’s parents, John, 77, and Susan, 63, were a constant presence at her trial – attending the ten-month proceedings at Manchester Crown Court every day.
In fact, they were so determined to hear all the evidence against their daughter that they moved to Manchester from the cathedral city of Hereford on the England-Wales border.
A source told the Mail that Letby’s mum was distraught when she was arrested – moaning, crying and even telling police: ‘I did it, take me instead’, in a desperate attempt to protect her.
Retail boss John and Susan, an accountant, raised Letby as an only child in a 1930s semi-detached house on a cul-de-sac.
Creatures of habit, they still live in the same house – which they bought shortly after getting married – and vacation in Torquay three times a year, taking Letby with them until his arrest in July 2018.
There is nothing to suggest that Mr and Mrs Letby were anything other than loving parents who showered their daughter with love from birth – five months after they married in July 1989.
Letby’s parents, Susan and John, arrive at Manchester Crown Court on August 17. The couple supported her every day in court. A source told the Mail that Letby’s mum was devastated when her daughter was arrested – whimpering and crying, even telling police: ‘I did it, take me instead’, in a desperate attempt to protect her.
Growing up, Letby was a “delight” to her parents – neighbors remembered.
She had a part-time job at WH Smith in town, and her parents were immensely proud when she became the first in their family to go to college.
When she graduated with an honors degree, they marked her graduation, in December 2011, with an advertisement in their local newspaper, the Hereford Times.
Next to a photo of her wearing a mortar board and holding her diploma, they wrote: ‘Letby Lucy BSc Hons in Child Nursing. We are so proud of you after all your hard work. I love mum and dad.’
A similar announcement, complete with a photograph of Letby as a young child, was also published in the same newspaper to mark his 21st birthday.
But texts Letby exchanged with colleagues suggested she sometimes felt suffocated by her mother and father and guilty for walking away. She explained that they miss her and hate that she lives alone.
She appeared to talk to or text them every day and described them as “suffocating at times”. She told a doctor friend who was considering moving to New Zealand that she could never do it as it would ‘completely destroy’ them.
“Find it quite difficult to be away from me now and it’s only 100 miles away,” she said.
In a message to another friend, she wrote: “My parents are massively worried about anything and everything, hate that I live alone etc.
There is nothing to suggest that Mr and Mrs Letby were anything other than loving parents who showered their daughter with love from birth – five months after they married in July 1989
Letby’s parents marked her graduation by posting a notice in the local newspaper
“I feel bad because I know it’s really hard for them, especially since I’m an only child, and they’re well-meaning, just a little smothered at times and constantly feeling guilty.”
The couple moved to Manchester and attended their daughter’s trial every day, with Ms Letby at times bursting into tears and appearing anxious during breaks when her daughter faced particularly difficult periods of questioning by the prosecution.
Investigators suspect Letby gave them few details about the horrific nature of the crimes she was charged with before they were exposed to them in court.
As the guilty verdicts were handed down, Ms Letby broke into a series of anguished sobs that continued even after she left the court. At one point she cried out, “You can’t be serious. It can’t be fair.”
Letby will now spend the rest of her life in prison.
The couple moved to Manchester and attended their daughter’s trial every day