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Lucy Letby: case against nurse is not ‘a done deal’, says defence

Barrister describes Ms Letby as a dedicated nurse and her presence when babies deteriorated as coincidental, as defence delivers opening speech in murder trial

Barrister describes Ms Letby as a dedicated nurse and her presence when babies deteriorated as coincidental, as defence delivers opening speech in murder trial

Lucy Letby was a dedicated nurse and the case against her is not a ‘done deal’, a jury at Manchester Crown Court has heard.

Defending Ms Letby as she stands trial on seven counts of murder and 10 of attempted murder, Ben Myers KC said in his opening speech that Ms Letby is ‘adamant’ she did nothing to harm babies in her care.

Opening speech describes ‘anguished outpouring’

‘Anyone who approaches this as some kind of a done deal has got this very badly wrong,’ Mr Myers said. 'She loved her job. She

Barrister describes Ms Letby as a dedicated nurse and her presence when babies deteriorated as coincidental, as defence delivers opening speech in murder trial

Photo of Lucy Letby smiling
Lucy Letby Picture: Shutterstock

Lucy Letby was a dedicated nurse and the case against her is not a ‘done deal’, a jury at Manchester Crown Court has heard.

Defending Ms Letby as she stands trial on seven counts of murder and 10 of attempted murder, Ben Myers KC said in his opening speech that Ms Letby is ‘adamant’ she did nothing to harm babies in her care.

Opening speech describes ‘anguished outpouring’

‘Anyone who approaches this as some kind of a done deal has got this very badly wrong,’ Mr Myers said. 'She loved her job. She cared deeply about the babies and also cared for their families.’

Ms Letby is alleged to have employed various methods to murder and attempt to murder the children while working at the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016. She denies all the charges.

Mr Myers, pointing to the defendant sitting in the dock, told jurors: ‘It is important to be careful that blame is not heaped on that woman when there may be others who have made mistakes or a system that has failed.’

He cited a Post-it note, mentioned at the end of the prosecution opening, on which Ms Letby had written ‘I am evil I did this’.

Mr Myers said: ‘This is the anguished outpouring of a young woman in fear and despair when she realises the enormity of what’s being said about her, in the moment, to herself.’ He said that at the time it was written, she was dealing with employment issues, including a grievance procedure.

Presence when babies’ health deteriorated could be coincidence, defence says

Jurors were told a second key issue for them to consider was that of coincidence, with Mr Myers stating that there was no evidence of Ms Letby doing harm to any children.

‘This prosecution case is driven by the assumption that someone was doing deliberate harm, combined with the coincidence, on certain occasions, of Ms Letby’s presence,’ he said. ‘The fact that Ms Letby has been present at the time of the deterioration of a child has itself become the explanation of that deterioration, even though there’s no evidence to show she has caused that to happen.’

He added that the babies were ‘clinically fragile’ and that their conditions could change ‘very swiftly and deteriorate very rapidly’.

The trial continues.


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