Disturbing Post-It note that exposed nurse Lucy Letby as baby killer
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Content warning: the subject matter in this article may be upsetting to some readers.
Lucy Letby has been found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder six others in her time as a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
The court heard that the 'cold, cruel and relentless' nurse had subjected some children to repeated attempts to kill them.
They also heard that Letby's methods of harming babies included injecting air into the bloodstream, injecting air into the stomach, overfeeding with milk, physical assaults and poisoning with insulin.
Arrested by Cheshire Constabulary at 6am on 3 July, 2018, police conducted searches of her home and found notes she had written where she described herself as 'evil' and wrote 'I did this'.
During the trial, prosecutors wanted to show jurors 'one note in particular' upon which Letby had written phrases including 'I don’t deserve to live', 'I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough to care for them', 'I am a horrible evil person' and 'I am evil I did this'.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC invited jurors to read what Letby had written on the post-it note 'literally' and take it as a confession.
It was one of several notes found by police at her home, with others referring to some of her colleagues, along with paperwork from her time at the hospital.
Letby's solicitor told jurors the post-it note with those messages written on them was 'the anguished outpouring of a young woman in fear and despair', while the former nurse later told the jury her version of events.
She said: "I felt at the time that if I'd done something wrong I must be such an evil, awful person... I'd somehow been incompetent and had done something wrong which had affected those babies.
"I felt I must be responsible in some way. I think looking back on it now, I was really struggling, and this was a way of me expressing what I wasn't able to say to anyone else."
In addition to the seven charges of murder and six of attempted murder she was found guilty of, the jury at Letby's trial failed to reach a verdict in six cases pertaining to four babies.
Prosecutors have asked for a period of 28 days where they will consider whether to seek a retrial on the six outstanding counts.
A statement read by a police liaison officer on behalf of the families of the victims said that 'justice has been served' but that they have suffered 'extreme hurt, anger and distress'.
The statement also described the verdicts as a 'bittersweet result' as there are some families who 'did not receive the verdict that they expected'.
Cheshire Police say they are continuing to review the care of some 4,000 babies who were admitted to the Countess of Chester – and also at Liverpool Women’s Hospital when Letby had two work placements – during her employment from 2012.
Only those cases highlighted as concerning medically would be investigated further, police added.
A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children who were the subject of the allegations.