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UK prosecutor says nurse poisoned 2 babies with insulin

LONDON – A neonatal nurse at a hospital in Britain accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill ten others has deliberately poisoned two babies with insulin, a British prosecutor said Monday.

Lucy Letby, 32, has been charged with the murder of five baby boys and two girls, and the attempted murder of five boys and five girls, while she worked at the Countess of Chester Hospital in the North West of England between 2015 and 2016.

Letby previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Opening her trial at the Manchester Crown Court, prosecutor Nick Johnson said the hospital saw a significant rise in the number of babies who died or suffered “severe catastrophic collapses” from 2015.

“Babies who weren’t unstable at all suddenly deteriorated. Sometimes babies who were sick, but then recovered, suddenly deteriorated for no apparent reason,” he told the jury.

He said when doctors couldn’t find a cause, the police were called in and conducted an assessment that suggested someone in the neonatal ward had poisoned two boys with insulin two days after they were born. The two boys’ blood sugar dropped to dangerous levels, Johnson said, but both survived with help from medical personnel.

Johnson said Letby was on duty when both were poisoned. He added that prosecutors believed the collapses and deaths of all 17 babies were the work of Letby, who he described as a “constant malicious presence” in the hospital’s neonatal ward when the children collapsed or died.

Letby’s first baby targeted was a premature boy who was murdered just a day old in June 2015, Johnson said.

The prosecutor claimed that Letby injected air into the child’s bloodstream, and a medical expert said the most likely reason for the baby’s collapse was that air was intentionally administered “by someone who knew it would cause significant harm.” “.

Relatives of some of Letby’s alleged victims sat in the courtroom, while Letby’s parents were also present.

The process is expected to take weeks, if not months.

Police launched an investigation into the deaths of a number of babies in hospital in May 2017. Letby was arrested three times in connection with the deaths before being charged in November 2020.

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