Murder accused nurse denies she has only cried for herself during trial
A nurse has denied she had only cried for herself during her murder trial rather than the babies she allegedly attacked.
On Wednesday, a tearful Lucy Letby denied deliberately harming numerous infants while on duty at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit.
She later denied prosecutor Nick Johnson KC’s suggestion that she had wept at Manchester Crown Court when talking about herself but not her 17 alleged victims.
The 33-year-old is alleged to have murdered seven babies and attempted to murder 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016.
Giving her fifth day of evidence at Manchester Crown Court, Letby told her barrister Ben Myers KC that it was “ really hurtful” when she was moved from the unit to an office role in July that year.
She said: “I was being isolated and expected to lie about things that were going on. I had to pretend that I wanted to leave the unit and wanted to work in a different area.”
Letby launched a grievance procedure against her employers in September 2016, the court has heard.
She said: “At this point I didn’t know what to do. It was having a massive impact on all aspects of my life.
“It was emotionally very difficult. I was lonely, I was worried, I didn’t know what was going on.”
She said it was “devastating” when she learned of allegations that she had harmed children in her care.
Letby told the court: “It was beyond comprehension, I couldn’t understand how it was happening.”
Mr Myers asked: “Could you cope with it?”
Letby said: “No.
Mr Myers said: “Had you done anything to hurt anybody?”
“No,” said Letby.
Mr Myers said: “Is there any truth in the allegations that you deliberately harmed babies?”
Wiping away tears with her hand, Letby said: “No.”
Mr Myers said: “Or intended to kill them?
“No,” repeated Letby.
Cross-examining, prosecutor Mr Johnson asked her: “Is there any reason why you cry when you talk about yourself and do not cry when you talk about the dead and seriously injured children?”
Letby said: “I have cried when talking about some of the babies.”
The court has heard a total of 257 nursing shift handover sheets, containing some of the names of her alleged victims, were found during police searches following her arrest in July 2018.
She agreed with Mr Johnson that taking such sheets out of the hospital was not “normal practice” and they should be discarded in confidential waste.
Mr Johnson asked: “What is normal practice?
Letby said: “To dispose of them but there are times when they have come home with me in my pocket.”
Mr Johnson said: “There are times when you have taken them.”
Letby said: “Not with the intention of keeping them.”
Mr Johnson said: “What are your responsibilities with sensitive, personal data?”
Letby replied: “To keep it confidential.”
Mr Johnson said: “What would have happened in a disciplinary sense if the hospital management knew you had 250-odd handover sheets at home?”
Letby said: “I can’t answer that. I don’t know what the policy would be.”
Mr Johnson said: “You’re not bothered are you?
Letby said: “It’s not that I’m not bothered. They were at my home address but they were still held in confidence.”
Mr Johnson said: “What, in a bin bag in your garage?”
Letby said: “I’m the only person that lives at the property, so yes.”
Asked about a number of handover sheets found at her parents’ house in Hereford, she said her parents did not enter her bedroom.
Mr Johnson said: “They are not held in confidence, are they?”
Letby said: “I don’t believe anybody would have looked at them.”
Mr Johnson asked: “Do you obey the rules only when it suits you?”
“No,” said Letby.
Mr Johnson said: “You like telling other people what to do but you don’t quite live up to those standards yourself, do you?”
Letby said: “No.”
The cross-examination of Letby will continue on Thursday.
She denies all the allegations.