Lucy Letby’s motive: Why did the nurse kill seven children?

Nurse Lucy Letby has been found guilty of killing seven children at the Countess of Chester’s Hospital in a rare case that has shocked the nation.

An independent investigation was launched to understand how Letby managed to carry out the killings and prosecute six others before he was reported to the police.

For the latest updates, follow The Independent’s live coverage of Lucy Letby’s verdict

The reasons why Letby, a neonatal nurse, committed the murders may not be fully understood, although prosecutors and other experts told jurors at her trial several possible motives.

here, The Independent It takes a look at some of the major theories that have been argued in court.

To get the attention of a fellow doctor she was “fascinated” by

One of the motives put forward by the prosecution was that Letby attacked and killed the children in her care to gain the sympathy of the doctor with whom she became “fascinated”.

It was alleged that she wanted to make herself the center of his attention and focus.

Throughout the trial, Letby did not show an iota of emotion until 16 February, when the medic, who could not be identified for legal reasons, confirmed his name after being sworn in.

Litby and the people in the public gallery could not see the married registrar because he had asked to give evidence from behind a screen.

His voice made her break down in tears as she suddenly left her seat and headed for the exit door from the platform.

When it came time for her to enter the witness stand, she said she loved the doctor as a “trusted friend” but was not in love with him romantically.

She denied the prosecution’s allegations that she was “fascinated” by the doctor.

I enjoyed “Playing God”

The police arrested Lucy Letby

(Cheshire Police)

Baby B, one of the triplets killed by Letby, collapsed on 24 June 2016 and preparations were under way to transfer him to another hospital.

Shortly before the planned transfer, Litby is said to have told a colleague – the person she was accused of being infatuated with – “He’s not leaving here alive, is he?”

During Letby’s trial, Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC said she made the comment because she “knew what was going to happen”.

“She was in control,” he said. “She was enjoying what was happening and happily predicting something she knew was going to happen.”

“She was actually playing God.”

Letby had previously pumped air into Baby B’s stomach while feeding him milk – just 13 minutes after Child had killed one of his brothers.

Letby gets a “thrill” from the parents’ “grief and despair”.

Letby behaved unusually when the children she killed or tried to kill suddenly refused, parents and other nurses on the ward where she worked said.

The parents of the first child, who died after repeated attacks by Letby, told police they remembered “her smile and talking about how she came to (the first child’s) bath and how much she loved him”.

Letby was found guilty of seven murders and six attempted murders

(AFP via Getty Images)

Johnson KC suggested to Litby that she “gets excited by what you were seeing, the sadness and despair, in that room”.

Libby denied the accusation.

The serial killer also searched Facebook for the families of her victims on the anniversary of their deaths, often looking for several of them within minutes of each other.

In one case, she did a search on Christmas Day. While testifying, Letby said she would be looking for all kinds of people, not just the parents of the children in the unit.

Found caring for less sick children ‘boring’

Letby is said to have quarreled with a senior colleague when he was asked to work at an “outside nursery” where children were being treated in preparation for going home.

The unit was divided into four rooms – intensive care in the first nursery, high dependency care in the second nursery and “outside nurseries” in the third and fourth rooms, the court was told.

Senior nurse Catherine Percival-Calderbank told the jury that Letby was “unhappy” if she was assigned shifts in either rooms three or four.

She said: “She expressed her dissatisfaction with being placed in external incubators.

“She said it was boring and she didn’t want to feed the kids. She wanted to be in intensive care.”

The doctor who helped catch Lucy Letby reveals that he was forced to apologize to the nurse

Ms Percival-Calderbank, who qualified as a nurse in 1988, added: “If anything were to happen within the nursery, she would migrate there, as we all do to go and help. She would certainly end up in the nursery to help.”

“We were more worried about Lucy’s mental health because it can be annoying, emotional and stressful sometimes also at the end of a shift, if you’re always in that tense situation all the time.

“Sometimes you have to get out of that environment and be in an outside nursery.”

Letby wasn’t “good enough to take care of them”

“I’m evil, I did it,” Letby wrote on a note police found in her home, the closest admission prosecutors had.

She also wrote, “I do not deserve to live. I willfully killed them because I am not good enough to take care of them. I will never marry or have children. I will never know what it is like to have a family.”

Letby told the court the notes, which were written after she was suspended pending an investigation, showed her mental anguish following the deaths of the children in her care.

The nurse said the notes also contained a plea of ​​innocence and were never presented to court as concrete evidence of her motives.

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