Detectives investigating the collapse of 12 other babies at the hospital where murderous nurse Lucy Letby worked have found evidence of ‘malicious acts’.
Letby, 33, was jailed for life on Monday after being found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others.
Following the verdict, Cheshire Police said they would review the records of 4,000 babies admitted during her tenure as a nurse in Operation Hummingbird, the years-long investigation that led to the conviction from Letby.
A source familiar with the investigation claimed that the notes of a dozen babies who had unexplained collapses in hospital had been passed on to experts.
Experts concluded that several of the near-misses bore indications of “malicious” involvement, The temperature reports.
Lucy Letby was first arrested in July 2018 as part of Operation Hummingbird, Cheshire Police’s investigation into infant deaths at the Countess of Chester’s Hospital.
Letby started working at the Countess of Chester Hospital in 2012 and remained on the wards until she was suspended from clinical duties in 2016.
She trained at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in 2012 and 2015. Cheshire Police are currently reviewing the cases of 4,000 babies admitted to the two hospitals as part of ‘phase two’ of Operation Hummingbird.
A police photo of baby killer Lucy Letby. Police are investigating other incidents of infant collapses that may have occurred while under his watch.
All of the babies survived their ordeals and none were involved in Letby’s trial, which ended last week after jurors heard 10 months of traumatic evidence relating to the nurse’s horrific crimes.
Letby carried out her murders and attacks on babies’ lives between June 2015 and June 2016 while working at the Countess Hospital in Chester.
However, she also underwent training at Liverpool Women’s Hospital between October and December 2012 and January and February 2015.
Admissions to both hospitals are being considered by detectives as part of Operation Hummingbird, which is now believed to be in a “second phase” after Letby’s convictions were secured.
Parents have already come forward to say their children may have suffered from Letby’s callous care.
Among them were Mike and Victoria Whitfield, who said the nurse stood ‘silently’ over their daughter Felicity’s bed at the Countess of Chester Hospital before her lung collapsed.
The Times also reports that nurses who appeared as prosecution witnesses in Letby’s trial were asked about other incidents that allegedly occurred while the nurse was still allowed to roam the halls of neonatology wards.
One said she was questioned by officers about three unexplained meltdowns at the Countess of Chester, including one which allegedly happened in 2012 – the year Letby joined.
Calls have been made for the Countess of Chester’s bosses to be charged with manslaughter, amid allegations that concerns over Letby’s conduct in the wards have been swept under the rug.
Dr Nigel Scawn, director of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said after the verdict: “Our staff are devastated by what has happened and we are committed to ensuring lessons continue to be learned.”
The Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust says it has liaised with Cheshire Police ‘throughout this investigation and we will continue to do so in the future’.
Letby was sentenced to 14 life terms in prison on Monday by Judge Goss, who slammed the “cruelty and callousness” of modern Britain’s worst child serial killer.
In his damning remarks on the sentencing – which Letby refused to come to court to hear – the judge said Letby had shown “premeditation, calculation and cunning” in his actions.
She used a variety of methods on her victims, ranging from injecting air into their blood to insulin poisoning. In some cases, she overfed them with milk or inflicted blunt force trauma.
All the while, the callous nurse sought to cover her tracks by participating in futile resuscitation attempts and expressing doubts about her ability to care for babies with her colleagues.
Lucy Letby sought to cover her tracks by writing condolence cards (left) and expressing her doubts about her abilities to colleagues. But privately she wrote twisted notes (right), including one that read: ‘I’m mean, I did this’.
Friends and colleagues are still struggling to come to terms with the idea that Letby – dubbed “the innocent” by his friends – is a baby killer.
She even sent messages of condolence to grieving parents on whom she inflicted terrible harm.
In several instances, she then searched online for the grieving parents of her victims, feeling a morbid fascination with their grief after choosing to play God with their children’s lives.
Judge Goss added: “The lives of newborns or relatively newborn babies ended almost as soon as they began and permanent damage was done, all in horrific circumstances.
“Loving parents have been deprived of their beloved children and others have to live with the physical and mental consequences of your actions. Siblings were deprived of siblings.
“You have caused deep psychological trauma, caused lingering grief and guilt, strained relationships and disrupted the lives of all the families of all your victims.
“Taken together, the offenses of murder and attempted murder were exceptionally serious and a just sentence, by law, requires a life sentence.”
Cheshire Police have pledged to carry out a full investigation into Letby’s “entire career”.
Detective Superintendent Paul Hughes said: “The Operation Hummingbird team is committed to a full and thorough investigation of the entire period that Lucy Letby was employed as a nurse at the Countess of Chester, or on internship at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. .
“This investigation is continuing, through a transparent and open-minded process.
“The families of all the babies who are part of this investigation have been informed and are being supported.
“We will of course provide a more detailed update when we can.”
An excerpt from Lucy Letby’s diary appears to show coded messages she wrote to mark the deaths of babies in her care.
DS Hughes, who led the inquiry into Letby, sought to clarify that not all admissions under Letby were treated with suspicion.
He added: “From 2012 to 2016 there were over 4,000 baby admissions to the neonatal units at Countess of Chester Hospital and Liverpool Women’s Hospital which we need to work on.
“That doesn’t mean we’re investigating all 4,000 people. It simply means that we are committed to thoroughly reviewing each admission from a medical perspective, to ensure that nothing is overlooked throughout the duration of her employment as a nurse.
“Only cases deemed to be of medical concern will be further investigated.”