A ‘smiling’ nurse offered to take pictures of a baby shortly after he murdered her on the fourth attempt, a court has heard.
Lucy Letby, 33, is accused of injuring the newborn by injecting air into her feeding tube and bloodstream before she died at the Countess of Chester Hospital on October 23, 2015.
Prosecutors allege Letby made four attempts to kill the baby, who weighed just 2 pounds 2 ounces when she was born 10 weeks premature in August 2015.
Letby denies murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others between June 2015 and June 2016 in the neonatal unit where she worked.
Jurors at the Manchester court on Wednesday read a statement from the mother of one of the babies who was allegedly killed by the nurse.
The jury heard how the baby, who can only be named Child I, was initially ill due to her prematurity, but her mother believed she was well enough to go home as she was about six weeks old.
“I started to notice that she looked different,” she said. “She was looking around the room now, taking it all in. I was able to sit him on my lap. I remember looking at her and thinking “We’re going home”. She looked like a full-term baby. She didn’t look frail or small.
She recalled that around this time she was allowed to bathe her daughter for the first time, and Letby helped prepare the bath. She said: ‘I was so happy to be able to bathe her. (Child I) was obviously enjoying it because she was smiling. Lucy even offered to take pictures with my cell phone, which I accepted.
The mother said Letby ‘always seemed reserved’ in relation to the other nurses and ‘didn’t really interact with the parents’.
The nurse is accused of making her first attempt to kill Child I during a day shift on September 30, before striking again three times the following month.
The mother of child I said she was called home in the early hours of October 23 and told she and her partner needed to go to hospital immediately.
When they arrived, she saw Letby with two other doctors trying to resuscitate their daughter. She asked how long they had been doing this and the consultant, Dr. John Gibbs, answered 20 minutes.
“I remember thinking they couldn’t keep doing it. I told Dr Gibbs ‘There’s nothing more you can do,’” she said.
After Child I was pronounced dead, his parents were moved to a private room at the time of visitation. They then agreed to bathe their daughter’s body.
She said: “Lucy brought the bath. She said she could come in and take pictures that we could keep. While we were bathing her, Lucy came back. She smiled and kept talking about how she was present at the first bath and how (Child I) liked it.
“I wish she’d stop talking. Eventually she got the hang of it and stopped. It wasn’t something we wanted to hear. I remember it was Lucy who packed the things (from child I) to go home.
The trial continues.