Lucy Ledby, 32, who worked in the neonatology department at the Countess of Chester Hospital (North West England) and appeared in Manchester, denied the murders of five boys and two girls and 10 attempted murders between June 2015. June 2016.
On the second day of the trial on Tuesday, prosecutor Nick Johnson described how the two children were killed six days apart.
The first, identified as “Baby C,” a 5-day-old premature infant who weighed 800 grams at birth but was considered to be in satisfactory condition, died on June 15, 2015, via a nasogastric tube with air injected into the stomach. It stopped him from breathing and caused a heart attack.
Lucy Ledby was on the night shift when “Baby C” was the only one in the room and suddenly fainted.
Six days earlier, “Baby A” died after infusing air into the bloodstream. The nurse was the ‘sole’ caregiver when ‘Baby C’ and ‘Baby A’ died, and when ‘Baby A’s twin sister collapsed due to blood transfusions. The girl was saved.
“What we’re going to see is a pattern of attacking babies in the neonatal unit is starting to develop,” the lawyer said.
“He injected air into the blood of twins A and B, and changed his approach by injecting air into baby C through a nasogastric tube.”
On the second day of the six-month trial, he said Lucy Ledby searched Facebook for information about the family of “Baby C” in the hours after her death. “One of the first things she did when she woke up,” he said.
A third victim, “Baby D,” died on June 22, hours after being born by caesarean section, in his father’s arms, again by regurgitating blood. The girl suffered three illnesses during the night, the last one death. “Unfortunately, his misfortune was that Lucy Ledby was working in the neonatal unit that night,” the lawyer said.
After this death, the nurse had sent “several messages” to friends that the death and discomfort of newborns could be explained by natural causes.
Another twin, “Baby E,” died on Aug. 3, 2015, by injecting air into the blood, the lawyer says. The next day, the nurse wrote “fraudulent notes (…) with the aim of hiding herself. Again she would search for information about the victim’s parents on social networks.
The day after “Baby E” died, the accused would try to poison her twin with insulin. He will be saved.
The prosecutor also told jurors how the nurse tried three times to kill a premature baby girl in September who weighed 510 grams but was 100 days old. She gave him copious amounts of milk by tube in addition to the air injection. The “severely disabled” child survived.
On Monday, he explained that the hospital’s neonatal unit had observed a “significant” increase in mortality and the number of babies losing consciousness for 18 months from January 2015.
“There was a poison on the ward at Chester Hospital,” he said.
Pediatric consultants were concerned about this increase in deaths, and “death or fainting is a common denominator (…) “the presence of a nurse (…) Lucy Ledby,” explained the lawyer. Many of the deaths occurred at night while she was on duty.
“When Lucy Ledby switched to daylight hours, fainting and deaths went to daylight hours,” he added.
After being tried twice in 2018 and 2019, and arrested and later charged in November 2020, Lucy Ledby has to answer a total of 22 charges as she is accused of trying to kill some children on several occasions.
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