An Indian-origin consultant paediatrician, based at a hospital in northern England, is among those who exposed the actions of a nurse linked to the deaths of seven newborns in the UK.
Dr Ravi Jayaram, associated with the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, revealed that some of these tragic losses could potentially have been averted had his concerns about the former nurse, Lucy Letby, been taken seriously, and the authorities informed promptly.
Following a trial at Manchester Crown Court, the neonatal nurse, Lucy Letby, was pronounced guilty by the jury for the series of murders that unfolded between 2015 and 2016. Additionally, she was found culpable of seven charges of attempted murder concerning six other infants. The sentencing for the 33-year-old nurse is scheduled to take place on Monday at the same court.
Dr. Jayaram recounted during the court proceedings that he experienced considerable unease when he witnessed Lucy Letby not taking any action while the oxygen levels of a baby were declining, as per the report by the Daily Mail.
In an interview with ‘ITV News’ after the verdict, Dr. Jayaram conveyed, “I sincerely believe that there are four or five babies who could be attending school today if not for this.” He narrated that consultants initially began expressing their apprehensions after three infants passed away in June 2015.
As the number of incidents escalated, leading medical professionals like Dr. Jayaram held multiple discussions with hospital administrators to highlight their concerns regarding Letby.
The turning point came in April 2017 when the National Health Service (NHS) permitted doctors to confer with a police officer. Dr. Jayaram shared, “The police, after listening to us for less than 10 minutes, realised that this is something that they had to be involved with. I could have punched the air.”
Throughout the trial, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the UK presented astonishing evidence indicating that Lucy Letby had employed various methods to harm infants deliberately. The strategies included injecting air and insulin into their bloodstream, introducing air into their gastrointestinal tract, administering excessive amounts of milk or fluids through force-feeding, and causing impact-related injuries.
The intention behind these actions was to cause the demise of the babies while duping her colleagues into believing that the deaths were due to natural causes, as elucidated to the jury.
Pascale Jones from the CPS expressed, “Lucy Letby sought to deceive her colleagues and pass off the harm she caused as nothing more than a worsening of each baby’s existing vulnerability. In her hands, innocuous substances like air, milk, fluids – or medication like insulin – would become lethal. She perverted her learning and weaponised her craft to inflict harm, grief, and death.”
Jones added, “Time and again, she harmed babies, in an environment which should have been safe for them and their families. Her attacks were a complete betrayal of the trust placed in her.”
Letby’s initial arrest occurred in July 2018, followed by her subsequent indictment in November 2020.
Amidst the extensive array of evidence presented during the court proceedings, a multitude of handwritten notes surfaced, which were uncovered by the police during their investigation.
These notes contained phrases such as: “I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough to care for them”; “I am evil I did this”; and “Today is your birthday, and you are not here, and I am so sorry for that”. These writings provided a glimpse into Lucy Letby’s mental state in the aftermath of her actions, as elucidated to the court.
In her defence, Letby’s legal representative described these notes as the expressions of a distressed woman who had lost faith in herself and held herself accountable for the events that occurred within the ward.
Nevertheless, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) managed to demonstrate to the jury that Letby was the singular consistent factor in the string of fatalities and abrupt deterioration in the neonatal unit. This compelling evidence underscored the role she played in these tragic incidents.