A trial is underway for a nurse accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill another 10 in a neonatal ward in the United Kingdom between 2015 and 2016.
In court on Thursday, a jury was presented several Post-It notes allegedly written by Lucy Letby, a former nurse at Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, England.
The Manchester Crown Court was told the notes — which contained both professions of guilt and innocence — were seized from Letby’s home during a search.
“What allegations have been made and by who? Do they have written evidence to support their comments?” Letby, 32, wrote in one note.
Further writings read: “I haven’t done anything wrong and they have no evidence so why have I had to hide away?”
In one note, Letby scrawled, “I am a horrible evil person” and “I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough.”
She concluded the note in capital letters, writing, “I am evil. I did this.”
Letby’s defence lawyer, Ben Myers, argued the notes are not admissions of guilt, but rather “the anguished outpouring of a young woman in fear and despair when she realizes the enormity of what is being said about her.”
Letby is accused of murdering or attempting to murder the 17 infants through various methods, including injecting air in their stomachs and bloodstreams, and insulin poisoning.
She has denied ever causing deliberate harm to any babies in the hospital. The names of all deceased and injured babies have not been released during the trial.
The prosecution, Nick Johnson, told the jury earlier that Letby sent a sympathy card to the parents of a baby she allegedly murdered. According to the BBC, Letby is accused of making four attempts on the infant’s life, known only as Child I. The female baby, who Johnson described as “resilient,” was allegedly injected with air, which ultimately caused her death.
Many of the children whose health deteriorated in Letby’s care often saw dramatic improvements when moved to another hospital, the prosecution claimed.
Letby is also accused of murdering two of three triplets. Child P died the day after the prosecution claimed Letby killed his brother, Child O.
When Child P was in hospital, doctors were “optimistic” about his health. Letby, however, had reportedly asked the doctor, “He’s not leaving alive here, is he?”
Child P died shortly afterward. He suffered “acute deterioration” before he could be transferred to another hospital.
“She knew what she had done to him and therefore she knew what was likely to happen,” Johnson told the jury. “It is certainly what she intended because it was something she had done to so many other children.”
Johnson said consultants at the hospital eventually began to suspect Letby was behind the collapses of several babies in the neonatal ward — collapses he claimed were “not medically explicable.”
Johnson said the number of infant deaths saw a “significant rise” after January 2015, including an increase in “babies who were dying and in the number of serious catastrophic collapses.”
Johnson called Letby a “malevolent presence” in the hospital and claimed in court that she falsified hospital documents in order to “cover her tracks.”
Letby was arrested in 2018. In 2020, formal charges were laid against her.
It is unclear when Letby’s trial will conclude, though the BBC reported it could take up to three months.