Murder-accused nurse tells jury she had not harmed any children

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A nurse accused of multiple murders and attempted murders of babies has told a jury she had not harmed any children.

Seven months on from the start of her trial at Manchester Crown Court, Lucy Letby, 33, entered the witness box on Tuesday to give evidence.

She is alleged to have murdered five boys and two girls, and attempted to murder another five boys and five girls, between June 2015 and June 2016.

The prosecution says Letby was a “constant malevolent presence” in their care at the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital.

It is said she used various means to target the infants, including injections of air into their system and insulin poisoning.

Several rows behind, her parents, John Letby, 76, and Susan Letby, 62, looked on – as did family members of the alleged victims on the other side of the public gallery.

Her barrister, Ben Myers KC, asked her: “Over the period of 2015 and 2016 we are looking at the babies on this indictment, could you put a figure on the number of babies you cared for in that period?”

Letby said: “It would be hundreds.”

Mr Myers said: “Did you care for them?”

Letby said: “Yes.”

Asked if she ever wanted to hurt any of them, she said: “No, that’s completely against being what a nurse is.”

She said she studied her nursing degree at the University of Chester and was the “first person in her family to go to university”.

During her studies she went on numerous work placements, she said, with the majority at the Countess of Chester Hospital, either on the children’s ward or the neo-natal unit.

Letby said she qualified as a Band 5 nurse in September 2011.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of surviving and deceased children allegedly attacked by Letby, and prohibits identifying parents or witnesses connected with the children.

Letby, from Hereford, denies all the allegations.

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