This is the sympathy card that nurse Lucy Letby wrote to the grieving parents of a premature-born baby girl she is accused of murdering.
The 33-year-old took a photograph on her mobile phone of the card ahead of the youngster’s funeral.
She is accused of killing the premature-born infant, known as Child I, in the early hours of October 23, 2015, which the Crown say was the fourth attempt to take her life. She denies all charges.
Manchester Crown Court was told Letby took a photo of the card on the morning of November 10 after she finished a night shift – hours before Child I’s funeral.
She wrote: ‘There are no words to make this time any easier. It was a real priviledge (sic) to care for (Child I) and get to know you as a family – a family who always put (Child I) first and did everything possible for her.
Lucy Letby is accused of killing the premature-born infant, known as Child I, in the early hours of October 23, 2015, which the Crown say was the fourth attempt to take her life
This is the sympathy card that nurse Lucy Letby wrote to the grieving parents of a premature-born baby girl she is accused of murdering
‘She will always be a part of your lives and we will never forget her. Thinking of you today and always – sorry I cannot be there to say goodbye. Lots of love Lucy x’
The card contained the printed message: ‘Your loved one will be remembered with many smiles.’
Letby, originally from Hereford, denies murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neo-natal unit between June 2015 and June 2016.
The court heard yesterday from another nurse who broke down in tears as she recalled Letby telling her the baby looked pale – even though she was standing six feet away and the infant’s cot was in a darkened room with her top half covered by a canopy.
When Ashleigh Hudson went over to Baby I she found her in ‘quite poor condition’ and needing urgent care.
The infant had been ‘very stable’ 15 minutes earlier, when Miss Hudson stepped away from Nursery 2 to help a colleague in the high-dependency Nursery 1 of the Countess of Chester Hospital.
She diverted for only ‘seconds’ to get some expressed breast milk she planned to give Baby I a short time later.
Unaware that the infant was unwell, Nurse Hudson returned to the nursery but did not immediately examine her. Instead she began preparing the milk with her back to Baby I’s cot.
‘Lucy was in the doorway. We were talking, I don’t remember the content of the conversation. (Then) she said she thought (Baby) I looked pale’.
She estimated that the neonatal nurse on trial for seven counts of murder – including that of Baby I – was standing five or six feet away.
‘She was in the doorway and said something along the lines of ‘(Baby) I looks pale’ or ‘Don’t you think (Baby) I looks pale?”
Asked by Simon Driver, prosecuting, what the light was like in the nursery, Nurse Hudson replied: ‘The main light for the room was switched off but the light in the corridor was on. So you were able to do things in the room and have enough light to see where your patients were and where the equipment was.’
GP Lucy Beebe told police she saw a tearful Letby in conversation with a colleague in one of the care rooms at the unit
Some light from the corridor came into the room through a window. They were sometimes kept in front of the window, but they did not obscure much of the light.
Baby I was in a ‘hot cot’ with a ‘tent-like’ canopy over the top of it to shield the infant’s face so she was neither disturbed nor suffered any impact on her neurological development.
‘It covers about half of the cot,’ she said. ‘The upper part’.
Nurse Hudson said that after Letby made her remark about Baby I looking pale she looked towards the infant.
‘I couldn’t see her. I could see that she was in the cot, but I couldn’t see the top half because she was covered by the canopy. I switched the main light on’.
Mr Driver asked: ‘When you first looked, who was closer? You or Lucy Letby?’
‘Me,’ she replied.
Mr Driver: ‘Was there anything about the layout or lighting that would have afforded her a better view of the baby than the one you had?’
Nurse Hudson replied: ‘No’.
She added: ‘After switching the light on I immediately went to I, pushed back the canopy and realised she was in quite poor condition’.
The Crown say neo-natal nurse Letby murdered Child I in the early hours of October 23, 2015
Nurse Hudson began dabbing her eyes with a tissue as told the court how she had returned to the unit with a detective and a scenes of crime officer so they could take a series of photographs of the layout as she recalled it.
She was later shown various images and selected the one she thought showed the lighting as it was that day – September 13, 2015.
This image was then shown to the jury.
It shows the darkened cot beneath the canopy, with a beam of light from the corridor illuminating only the end of the cot closest to where the baby’s feet would have been.
‘At first she seemed not to be breathing at all, but then she was gasping. Rather than a regular respiratory pattern, it was a one-off – a very deep, gasping breath.’
Nurse Hudson, who had just finished her first year of practice, told the court how Baby I appeared as she carried out a rapid examination.
‘It was a sound that wouldn’t be made by a well baby – almost a very, very deep breath but one by itself, not followed by any others’.
Baby I was making the gasping sounds ‘maybe four to five times a minute’.
‘I didn’t stop to examine her for longer than maybe 20 seconds before we started to intervene.
‘My first thought was that she’d deteriorated so rapidly that I was too late. The change in her from shortly prior was remarkable. It was very surprising’.
She knew she should try to stimulate the baby and so began speaking to her. ‘Obviously Lucy was in the doorway and she came to the cot-side to assist.’
Either she or Letby put out a crash call, and while other medics rushed to the room they began trying to resuscitate the baby.
‘I used the Neopuff on the wall behind her. I gave her breaths to stimulate breathing. Then Lucy took over the airway and I moved on to chest compressions’.
Dr Matthew Neame and two senior nurses responded to the crash call. Since she was the least experienced medic in the room, Nurse Hudson ‘took a step back’.
‘I initially assisted Dr Neame with the airway. I think I gave some ventilation breaths before leaving to contact the parents.’
The trial continues.