Neonatal nurse Lucy Letby told detectives she took pictures of a condolence card because she wanted to remember the kind words she wrote to a baby’s grieving parents.
Letby, 33, wrote her message just hours before family members gathered for the funeral of Baby I — a baby she reportedly killed on the fourth attempt in October 2015.
She wrote, “There are no words to make this time easier. It was truly a privilege (sic) to take care of (Baby I) and get to know you as a family – a family that always put (Baby I) first and did everything possible for her.
She will always be a part of your life and we will never forget her. Thinking of you today and always – sorry I can’t be there to say goodbye. Lots of love Lucy x’
Today, the Manchester Crown Court jury was told that detectives had asked Letby about the card when questioning her in the aftermath of her arrest in July 2018.
Neonatal nurse Lucy Letby (pictured), 33, wrote a condolence card just hours before family members gathered for the funeral of Baby I – a baby she reportedly killed in October 2015. Letby denies killing seven babies and trying to kill another ten
A diary, along with a Post-it note found in the diary, recovered from a chest of drawers in Lucy Letby’s home
She explained, “I often take pictures of cards I’ve sent, even birthday cards.”
An officer asks why she had done that on this occasion, and she replied, “It was shocking and I think it was nice to think back on the kind words I shared with that family.” And like I said, I take pictures of a lot of birthday cards I send out.”
Letby further denied knowing in advance that the same baby would be pale in her “hot” bed shortly after 3 a.m. on October 13, 2015, having just attacked her.
The interrogating officers explained to her that a combination of poor lighting and a ‘tent-like’ canopy over the top half of the bed would have made it impossible. She insisted she could see because when the nurses entered the room, one of them had turned on the light.
Earlier in the process, another nurse, Ashleigh Hudson, burst into tears when she remembered Letby telling her that the baby looked pale – even though she was six feet away.
When Miss Hudson went to see the child, she found her in “pretty bad shape” and in need of urgent care.
Baby I had been ‘very stable’ 15 minutes earlier when she left nursery 2 to help a colleague in intensive care nursery 1 at Countess of Chester Hospital.
Unaware that the child was unwell, Sister Hudson returned to the nursery, but did not immediately examine her. Instead, she started preparing milk for her with her back to the bed.
Originally from Hereford, Letby denies killing seven babies and attempted to kill a further ten (photo: April 2016 diary entries)
She told the court, “Lucy was standing in the doorway. We were talking… (then) she said she thought (baby) I looked pale.
While interviewing Letby, a detective suggested that she and Sister Hudson had stood together in the doorway, while the alleged killer turned to her colleague and said the child looked pale.
Letby replied, ‘No, I remember we both went to the nursery together… From memory we were both in the nursery. I think we turned the lights on when we entered the room.”
The officer asks how she could see from the doorway that Baby I was pale.
Letby replied, “Maybe I saw something Ashleigh didn’t.” I have more experience than them.
“And there are different degrees of paleness – and honey, I was a pale baby anyway.”
She added, “There’s always a level of light. She (Baby I) is still looking out at the door. There is still light coming from the main corridor.’
The officer pressed her, saying that Nurse Hudson “could see there was something very wrong with (Baby I). She wasn’t breathing well, she looked dead’.
Letby replied, ‘She didn’t look dead’.
There was always an opening in the structure of the canopy and a certain amount of natural light always fell on the bed. “I could have seen her face, or her hands if she had stretched out her hands.”
The detective suggests the truth was that she knew the baby would be pale “because you just attacked her.”
“No,” Letby said.
She later denied repeatedly assaulting the baby prior to her eventual death on October 23.
Letby, originally from Hereford, denies killing seven babies and attempting to kill a further ten. She denies all allegations.
Letby is currently on trial at Manchester Crown Court (pictured)
The court also heard Letby cry in a police interview as she recalled the ‘devastating’ deaths of two triplets within 24 hours.
“It was just devastating,” she told a detective before collapsing.
A little later she said that she put Baby O and his little brother, Baby P, head and tail together in a cold cot so they could be with their parents.
The couple had then asked her to take pictures of them as part of a keepsake box.
Their surviving triplets were later transferred to Liverpool Women’s Hospital after pleading with the transport team originally sent to collect Baby P.
“It was a very traumatic time,” Letby said. “The staff, we all talked about it then. And at the end of the shift, we also discussed it with the transport team.”
Letby denied telling a nurse colleague that she found it “boring” working outside nurseries, away from babies in intensive care.
She also said she couldn’t remember saying about Baby P, “He’s not going to leave here alive, is he?”
Likewise, she didn’t recall Stephen Brearey, the senior pediatrician on the ward, suggesting she take the weekend off because of the trauma.
“I was supposed to go on annual leave after the triplets, so I would have been free anyway. I don’t remember the conversation.”
Elsewhere in the interviews, Letby denied harming both Baby J and Baby M so they would be moved to the nursery where she worked.
The trial will resume on Thursday.