Lucy Letby case


Staff member
I don't want to start anything too controversial, but this has been big in the news recently and I think many were shocked to see the news and verdict of a serial killer nurse. I certainly was and didn't know anything about it until the verdict. After reading around it a bit, it's a confusing case and I can see why so many people had doubts and expected her to be acquitted - lack of evidence apart from anything else.

There are three organisations now trying to help with an appeal, saying the scientific evidence used to find her guilty was incorrect and it was an unfair trial. So I've been reading around a bit and can't come to any conclusions one way or the other. I suppose we'll have to wait to see what an appeal brings up.
It's a bit late right now so my brain isn't the best, but it's all over the UK media (or has been for the past week). Most of it is the sensationalist stuff. Which is what I first came across and thought - terrible. But then there are a lot of people with doubts about the case now. If you google Richard Gill and Chimp Investor - Lucy Letby or any mainstream media papers like the Independent and Daily Mail etc.

She's been found guilty by a jury and convicted and sentenced to 7 whole life orders. So as far as everyone is concerned, she did it. But there are others who have been saying there was no evidence and what was presented was flawed and the Police were trying to find a culprit to fit the baby deaths, when the hospital had multiple failings anyway.

Those people felt her defence team hadn't done enough and they only brought one witness - a plumber - the hospital apparently had raw sewage issues on the ward.

So on the one hand there are a lot of people campaigning for an appeal. On the other hand others are pushing for a public inquiry as to why the hospital failed to act sooner after someone reported concerns, And at the same time the Police are continuing investigating other baby deaths, presumably to see if they might be able to pin those on her.

A lot was made of some scribbled post it notes they found in her house which have been interpreted differently by different people. They're on the newpaper article. Apparently written at a time when she was terrified having just found out the police were going to arrest her. They are contradictory and some people think she was just brain storming under stress and the notes have been misread. And aren't good enough evidence. They are certainly confusing.

But the usual media reporting has created a kind of "burn the witch" frenzy which is not pleasant to see. I don't know if she did it or not, but many nurses have got involved with supporting the appeal campaign as they feel the trial was unfair and it could happen to any of them, if they happened to be on duty in a badly run hospital and end up taking the can.

The medical evidence was the thing that seemed to sway the jury but that's the bit that is being claimed to be incorrect - hence a possible appeal. If she actually does appeal. It's quite strange - lots of campaigns for her appeal but only she can decide whether to appeal. The fourth link is interesting.

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On the post it note it's been quoted as "I killed them on purpose because I'm not good enough" But there are two words written above that that look like "Many think ...........I killed them on purpose ..........." which changes the meaning. And elsewhere it says I've done nothing wrong. A criminologist interviewed on panorama before the verdict said he had worked with serial killers and she wasn't a serial killer and the note had been interpreted to fit the alleged crime.

Anyway it's been big news. Either a serial killer nurse is in prison for the rest of her life, or an innocent girl has been convicted on flimsy evidence and incorrect medical evidence. The medical evidence is quite interesting (IMO).

There is another link here about that. There was no firm evidence until someone saw there were high levels of insulin in two babies. (Neither of whom died). And the expert (who allegedly wasn't suitably qualified to be an expert) said it must have been injected. But many medical types and others have since said there are many causes why a very premature baby could have high insulin levels - one of them, the Mother was apparently diabetic and on insulin.

With most cases you see the news and think - that's terrible. But with this one a lot of people were feeling very uncomfortable about the verdict.

If she is found innocent on appeal with further evidence, then the poor parents of those babies will have even more things to go through. They were already informed there had been foul play (I think) before the trial even started.
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What an absolute shit show! Ive had a quick scan of the links.
Why on earth has she been sentenced without sufficient evidence?

"It was only after the consultants who were running the neonatal unit became the subject of a critical report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) that they went on to file a report with the police alleging the infant deaths were due to the actions of nurse Lucy Letby. "

This says it all, case closed. The medical professionals are a law unto themselves. This is one of my hates.
Scapegoating is most likely. Poor woman if she is innocent. Nobody is left alone to care for babies in hospitals these days. Data is checked and double checked. The blame couldn't possibly be pinned on one person. Were the consultants brought to trial? I doubt it. 😕
You can always rely on the daily mail for a load of BS, the handwriting expert? 🤣 and some dodgy looking couple from Liverpool with zero evidence apart from "she looked at me but didn't smile and then it seemed like seconds it may have been longer....and the alarms went off" Well how long was it exactly?
Just want to get their 15 minutes of fame. What a crock.
That's what I think - all the negativity and exaggeration. There was a report by one of the parents that her baby screamed. Daily Mail then "allegedly" described how a number of parents had heard their babies screaming as quoted by someone who wasn't there. And made it sound like a massacre.

And on top of all that, there was raw sewage in the system, on the wards - they were walking through it one point apparently, and waste water had got into the water system. Very young neonatal babies the size of a hand and all those pathogens. Apparently the number of stillbirths was very high at that hospital as well - which would be nothing to do with Nurse Letby. The hospital seemed to have a lot of issues and weren't rated to care for neonates that young according to some sources.

So yes it seems about 75% of the population think she is witch and the death penalty should be brought back. And about 25% think she is an innocent scapegoat. Probably some of the 75% just aren't sure.

The point being though that she should be innocent until proved guilty and many people were very shocked to hear she hadn't been acquitted when there was no evidence. Just a narrative had been built around some perfectly normal things. Like keeping a diary and taking handover sheets home (which apparently nurses are advised to do to protect themselves against allegations later).

I'm just waiting to see if there will be an appeal. I think they have until near the end of September to apply for an appeal. But imagine, if they produce sound medical information that dismisses the theory by one Doctor who assumed there was foul play because the Police said so - and she was acquitted. All the people describing her as an evil witch, would have to re-set their brains to realise someone else is to blame. Or maybe the hospital.
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I would never want to see an innocent person in jail, ever.
From what I read, there is a good chance she is guilty. Just too many coincidences. To me the most problematic issue is why didn’t the hospital react immediately?
She obviously had a say and had supporters, or they would never have allowed her back to care for infants.
It is a very sensitive topic, even if unintended, the person who can’t do the job well or has too many episodes on her watch has to be removed or supervised to see what is going on.
Definitely the hospital should have taken some actions much earlier.
I have a 2 months old granddaughter. She was hospitalized just a day after she came home and I remember my DD, how difficult it was for her.
Not trusting the staff to take care of your baby is unbearable. Not being there for your baby is difficult in itself, although DD slept at the hospital.
I think the hospital had already moved the care for premature infants to another hospital, so the damage is done. And if they found that the babies stopped dying once the nurse was gone, what were they thinking??

We had a pediatric doctor who pronounced the baby dead and they were about to remove the body when they found out the infant was alive. She was removed or left the hospital immediately. It was all over the news a few decades ago. The baby was ok I think. That is very sloppy work and the nurses were at first reluctant to say anything, later the parents and everyone else came out with it.
It was so obvious that the doctor never denied it.

The whole case is difficult and it stinks. It is a very sensitive topic.
It is a sensitive topic - there are parents whose babies died - whether it was bad practice by a failing hospital, or deliberate. I was looking at the issues for debate. Those hoping she will appeal didn't feel it was a fair trial, no real evidence, and what evidence produced was circumstantial and flawed - in their view.

There were also Doctors working on that ward, not just nurses. Apparently the hospital itself wasn't the correct speciality for such very early premature babies - they didn't have the experienced staff to deal with them. And there was information about raw sewage and waste water issues on the ward - ripe for infection of very premature babies without full immune systems. The nurse was working a lot of extra shifts as staffing was an issue. So would have been there a lot. I know what you're saying though and I think the media don't help.

There was a similar case in Holland and it got reopened and she was found to be innocent. They got the statistics wrong. The whole thing about insulin is based on opinion - and that is the evidence some are claiming is flawed.

I think what has shocked some people is that she has been given not just one, but 6 or 7 whole life sentences. That means the rest of your life in jail and even if one case was found to be a different cause, the others would still carry a whole life sentence. That would be the right sentence if she is guilty but the concerns some have raised is - it would be terrible if she was innocent and there is nothing in her life or background to suggest she would do such a thing. Most serial killers have had disturbed childhoods or other issues.
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To me the biggest argument was, the babies stopped dying when she left, most died in her care or too many, three in three days. That is not normal, the odds of survival were so much better when she wasn’t working. Babies are tough and are made to survive under proper care. My brother was 2 months premature, had some heart issues, but within the first year and a half nature took care of it. Same with my granddaughter, the painful contractions stopped by themself, but it was good of the hospital team to check her out. They were gentle to her and nice to my DD.
The point I am trying to make is something was definitely off. I tend to agree she is guilty, maybe overworked and wanted to have some peace or maybe just being the judge of who deserves to live and die.
I think in this case even circumstantial evidence is like watching to a horror movie.
The hospital should be investigated too, especially if the suspicions were reported and nothing was done about them and it would also mean a double fact check.

Can you imagine if she is guilty and would walk and get her nursing job back and do it again? To get off on a technicality would be so damaging to all medical staff and society. Both of my parents were doctors and I know how they reacted when someone died in their care. I can say badly, they had to live with it and I remember my stepmom having an especially bad reaction when it happened to her. And the people were all adults.

With babies it gets even more difficult. Something is very off with that nurse, it feels like she felt nothing and the diary, it was weird to say the least.
Not what I experienced working with doctors and nurses. I saw their sadness and even depression in nursing homes when people died. I saw the alert when a patient started bleeding and how fast they reacted.
It would be horrible if patients stopped trusting medical staff. Many-most try to do good.
It depends what you read. If you read the last link above and the science website it leads to, it claims the deaths didn't stop when she was off. And those deaths aren't mentioned. 6 out of the 7 deaths had autopsies - by the Coroner - and no unusual findings - seen as natural causes. The whole investigation was based on one report by an "expert" who apparently wasn't an expert. If you read the media reports - it's just stating the prosecution case as fact. There was nothing abnormal about the diaries or paperwork. The notes were misrepresented in the media. It all sounded like a witch hunt to me. I have no idea whether she was guilty or innocent - but a trial needs to be fair if it's sending someone to prison for the rest of their life. If there is an appeal maybe all this information will be pointed out. She wasn't the only one there.
If it was found to be an unsafe conviction and she was released after appeal and found innocent, I doubt she would go back to nursing again. If she is innocent it would have caused huge damage to have gone through years of investigations and imprisonment and be classed as a mass murderer.
I can only base my opinion on what I read and heard.
As I said I would never want an innocent going to jail.
Why was anyone alarmed and why was there an investigation? This is the part I do not understand. Something isn’t right in this case. And infants, babies being involved is horrible. Why would they set her up, why would they hurt the hospital, I don’t understand and this investigation is than unnecessary and unreasonable.
Too many questions, the truth may or may not come out.
Who knows what really happened.
Well the only reason I can see is that she is a scapegoat. These kinds of things happen all the time unfortunately. The people in charge of the hospital were getting into trouble for their failures and only then they called her out.
Nobody knows whether she did it or not but from the little evidence ive seen its clearly not guilty beyond all reasonable doubt and that makes me question the case.
I spoke to some friends from the UK on Sunday night. They are Daily Mail readers and representative of a large population of the UK mindset in this case.
I mentioned this case and their immediate response was,
"Oh yeah she did it all right, they found a note which she wrote admitting it. She should get the electric chair for what shes done."
I like to discuss things with people but I didnt even bother. Their opinion says it all. The media are disgusting for not portraying a balanced argument. We are so quick as humans to condemn others with a couple of photos and negative comments from a tat newspaper. 🙄
That note has been analysed and transcribed properly by some computer thing (it’s on Twitter I think).

It shoes how the press have missed out a couple of words that show she is actually expressing shock and horror that people say she did this. All the press put was “I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough “. But there are two words above that that say something like “They said” (can’t remember now). Which changes the meaning entirely. She also says she has done nothing wrong in that note.

She won a tribunal against the Doctirs who wanted her removed. She was exonerated of any wrongdoing and the Doctors were threatened with being reported to the GMC - which is a serious move that could threaten their careers and reputations. Shortly after she won the tribunal the Doctors went to the police. The police were looking for a “culprit” because the Doctots told them there was one. The Police were therefore trying to build a case around the deaths being someone’s fault and a crime. They got this retired Doctor to give an opinion (despite the fact post mortems showed natural causes) and his paper was what the police needed to say there had been a crime. But his evidence was flawed according to some.

Had an independent body looked into it rather than the police they would have noted that not only were there excess neonatal births but there were also excess stillbirths and the hospital was failing.

As I said I don’t know if she’s guilty or not but had an uncomfortable feeling about the way the case went and so did a lot of others (which is why there are campaigns going) - something didn’t seem right. Also it was so many years later there eas no evidence - no further autopsies could be done, no hospital hygiene and sewage issues of the time could be checked in retrospect. A plumber gave evidence as to the contaminated water issues though.

Despite these campaigns it is the nurse herself who will decide whether or not to appeal. If she doesn’t appeal then maybe she is guilty (or incapable of making a decision if she went to pieces after the verdict).

A lot of people following the case were really surprised that she wasn’t acquitted. The papers of course like to fuel a “burn the witch” mentality as it’s gruesome and sells papers.
She's applied to appeal (or her legal team has)

Former nurse files bid to challenge her convictions of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill another six

Some of the other media outlets, including the BBC and the Guardian say things like "Child killer is going to appeal". Isn't that the whole point of appealing? To prove you're not a child killer?
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For her sake I hope she can prove she is innocent and was set up.

I look at my 3 months old granddaughter and I am not indifferent, so any opinion I have is not impartial.
So rather no comment from me, but she is a human with a name and there should be boundaries.
Even Ted Boundy proven guilty, having admitted to his crimes is called by name. Shame on them.

Even if she is guilty, forgiveness is the way forward for the families eventually and treating her as a human being makes things easier.

If she is innocent, the people who set her up don’t deserve that.
I guess we'll have to wait and see. I am still on the fence a bit as there are so many conflicting things about it.
So people are starting to question it. I read through the prosecution and defence closing speeches in the Chester Standard. If you read the prosecution speeches then it's no wonder the jury found her guilty. He stated things as if they were fact. Like at xpm the other nurse was out of the room and she injected air into the child. The imagining of that is horrific - but it is all just made up! Assumption based on the "expert" report by a retired paediatrician. Sally Clark was convicted on faulty expert evidence as well.

There is no evidence she did anything at all. Except work hard and do a lot of extra shifts on a unit that was drastically understaffed. And there are quality commission reports that describe what a bad state the hospital and unit was in. Doctors rounds were only every 2 weeks, they had to rely on agency staff, there weren't enough nurses per baby. There were medical errors.

The other thing the report says is that there had been unusually high numbers of both stillbirths and neonatal deaths. So there were failures and issues at the hospital generally. Lucy Letby can't have been responsible for the stillbirths! There was only one neonatal consultant out of the paediatric consultants and they had very pre-term babies they were not qualified to look after. After 2016 the status was changed so they could no longer care for the very pre term babies under about 32 weeks. One of the babies that died was only 24 weeks - and the chances of survival at that age are only 60%. That doesn't mean 24 weeks old after a normal birth, it means the baby was 15 weeks premature.

The only element that suggests there was any foul play at all (and that is dubious) is the fact they decided insulin had been given to two babies after getting a blood test result back. Both those babies survived and went home and are healthy. They were not killed by insulin poisoning as some people seem to think.

At the time the Doctors took no notice of the blood test results showing high insulin levels. They didn't get raised for another two years! So either that was bad practice or it was seen as irrelevant at the time. The other failure on the part of the Doctors was, the lab who did the blood test said that the sample needed to be sent on to Guildford to detemine whether or not it was "exogeneous" insulin (ie manufactured insulin) that had been injected, rather than naturally produced insulin. The Doctors didn't send it for that second test, so there is no evidence at all that it was injected insulin. Just that the babies had high insulin levels. So if they had suspicions, why not get the test done and get it checked out. Maybe with the first baby they just overlooked it but with the second one, months later, when they were already concerned about the number of deaths, you think the Doctors would have followed the labs advice and got the sample tested at Guildford, as advised.

There is not even any evidence that the blood test was correct as samples for insulin testing need to be frozen and tested within a very short timescale, and reading about the chaos and understaffing and sewage on the ward it wouldn't be surprising if the sample hadn't been frozen in time or tested in time.

Although that last bit is less likely if it happened twice.

I came across this as well. This is the article by Professor Livermore that is mentioned in that Daily Mail article.

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