Nurse Lucy Letby killed triplet baby one day after she destabilized him with an initial injection of air a day earlier, trace of murder is heard
- Baby P died after a series of collapses at the Countess of Chester Hospital in 2016
- Pediatrician felt Lucy Letby posed a ‘mortal danger’ to her surviving brother
Lucy Letby killed one of a set of triplets after initially destabilizing him with an initial injection of air a day earlier, a jury heard today.
Baby P died after suffering a series of unexplained collapses at the Countess of Chester Hospital on June 24, 2016. His identical brother, Baby O, had died the previous day.
After the two deaths, the babies’ parents pleaded with doctors to transfer their surviving triplet to Liverpool Hospital for Women.
His plea was supported by one of Chester’s pediatricians who had tried in vain to save Baby P’s life.
By this time, he felt that Lucy Letby posed “a mortal danger” to his surviving brother, and asked the consultant originally sent to Chester to collect Baby P to bring him.
Nurse Lucy Letby (pictured) killed one of a set of triplets after initially destabilizing him with an initial injection of air a day earlier, a jury heard today.
The doctor told jury at Manchester Crown Court: “Although I didn’t beg and found a professional way of saying it, in my heart I just wanted him to go too because that’s the only way he would live.” .’
Today, Dr. Dewi Evans, one of two expert pediatricians called by the prosecution, said he believed Baby P had initially been destabilized by the introduction of air sometime before an X-ray was taken at 8:09pm. of June 23.
But it was the introduction of an additional “drop of air” the next morning that splinted his diaphragm and caused the first in a series of collapses that ended in his death.
When Ben Myers KC, defending, said that this was not the view he had expressed in his initial reports on the case, he replied: ‘Much of the information that we now know is information that came to light in this trial. It is unrealistic for anyone to form an opinion that is absolutely correct.
Dr Dewi Evans said he believed Baby P had initially been destabilized by the introduction of air at some point before an X-ray was taken at 8:09pm on June 23.
Nurse Letby, 33, is on trial at Manchester Crown Court (Illustrated), accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others in the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital over the course of a year , from June 2015 to June 2016
‘My most recent report is from four years ago, the first about six years ago. I (now) have a much better understanding of the clinical sequence of events.’
Dr Evans rejected the lawyer’s suggestion that he had made up his theory about ‘an extra spoonful of air’ in order to ‘cross the line’ and in doing so help the prosecution.
He added: “I can’t be accused of putting anyone in the frame.”
Dr. Sandie Bohin, the second pediatrician called as an expert witness by the prosecution, said she believed Baby P’s first collapse was caused by an injection of air into her nasogastric tube.
She added: “I can’t think of any natural phenomenon that could have led to more collapses.”
While looking at the 8:09 p.m. X-ray, she had been concerned about the amount of gas in the baby’s stomach, even though it was not causing her any particular trouble at the time.
He noted that the x-ray had only been requested by one of the consultants, John Gibbs, ‘almost as a precautionary measure’ when there was no clinical problem. However, it was “abnormal” showing a “moderate” amount of gas.
Dr. Bohin agreed with Mr. Myers that unit staff should have drained a pneumothorax that developed after Baby P’s first collapse.
She explained: “A baby on a ventilator is unstable, and we don’t know if the snapshot (from the X-ray) has changed to become a pneumothorax that requires drainage.”
The abdominal air detected on the X-ray was ‘conspicuous and unusual’. Her collapse the next day was caused by her abdominal distention which splinted her diaphragm and compromised her breathing.
The trial continues.