Lucy Letby was asked repeatedly to leave bereaved family alone

The nurse, who is accused of murdering seven babies, was in the room when Child C deteriorated despite being assigned to care for a different baby

The nurse, who is accused of murdering seven babies, was in the room when Child C deteriorated despite being assigned to care for a different baby

Court sketch of nurse Lucy Letby who is accused of killing seven babies
Lucy Letby – court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook Picture: Alamy

A nurse accused of multiple baby murders was told to leave the parents of a dying newborn boy alone, a court has heard.

Lucy Letby was present when Child C deteriorated, despite being assigned to work elsewhere

Lucy Letby is accused of murdering Child C just days after he was born prematurely at the Countess of Chester Hospital on 10 June 2015.

He is the second of seven babies she is alleged to have murdered at the hospital’s neonatal unit.

Jurors at Manchester Crown Court have been told that Ms Letby was designated to care for another baby boy who was in a room separate from Child C on the night shift on 13 June.

Giving evidence on Monday, the nursing shift leader – who cannot be named for legal reasons – told the court she had no concerns over Child C at the start of the shift, and his clinical observations were stable.

The Crown says Ms Letby was present in the intensive care room when Child C suddenly collapsed at about 11.15pm, despite, it says, her having no clear reason to be there. It claims that she inserted air into his stomach via a nasogastric tube causing his death.

Accused nurse was repeatedly asked to leave private family room

The court heard Child C did not respond to resuscitation attempts after which he was taken to a private family room with his parents and grandparents.

The witness said she assigned another nurse on duty, Melanie Taylor, to offer Child C’s parents a memory box containing hand and footprints.

The witness said: ‘I asked Ms Letby to focus on her designated baby because I was still concerned about him. However, she went into the family room a few times and I asked her to come out and leave that family with Ms Taylor.’

Simon Driver, prosecuting, asked: ‘Was it any part of her responsibilities to go into that family room at this time?’ The witness replied: ‘Not that I can remember.’

Mr Driver continued: ‘You instructed her to return her attention to her designated baby once or more than once?’ The witness said: ‘More than once.’

Defence barrister suggests Child C should have been cared for in a specialist hospital

In his opening speech, defending barrister Ben Myers KC said Child C was vulnerable, especially to infection, and should have been at a specialist children’s hospital.

In cross-examination by the defence, the witness agreed that the baby was fragile and at risk of death due to his prematurity and size.

Ms Letby denies the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of ten others at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

The trial continues.

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