A mother found her baby with blood on its face making ‘horrendous’ sounds before it tragically died, the ongoing trial of Lucy Letby heard.
The baby, known as Child E, was allegedly murdered by Letby who is accused of injecting air into its bloodstream at the Countess of Chester Hospital, back in June 2015.
The 32-year-old is on trial, charged with murdering seven babies and trying to kill another 10 between 2015 and 2016. She denies all charges.
Letby is accused of not just killing Child E, but also attempting to murder its twin, Child F, the very next day after they had been born prematurely. Letby was designated as nurse for them both.
One night during their stay at the hospital, their mother decided to visit her son in the neonatal unit, the court heard.
She found the son acutely distressed and bleeding from his mouth.
During the ongoing trial the mother said: “I could hear my son crying. I walked over to the incubator to see he had blood coming out of his mouth.
“I was panicking. I felt like there was something wrong.”
The mother said Child E’s crying “was a sound that shouldn’t have come from a tiny baby”.
She added: “I can’t explain what that sound was, it was horrendous.”
Encountering the horror scene, the mother asked Letby – who was said to be at a workstation on the unit – what was wrong.
That was when Letby claimed Child E’s feeding tube had rubbed his throat, causing the bleed.
Letby told the mum to go back to the post-natal ward where she was a patient.
When the mum left Child E in Letby’s care, she said she had “completely trusted” the nurse at the time.
“She said the registrar was on his way and if there was a problem, someone would ring up to the post-natal ward,” the mum said.
But when she got back to the postnatal ward, she rang her husband to tell him she felt there “was something very wrong”.
Then, later on that evening, the mum returned to the neo-natal ward and sat in the corridor watching as a team of people worked around Child E’s incubator.
The prosecution said this was when Child E was unsuccessfully resuscitated.
After her death, Letby asked the mum is she wanted to bathe her son.
Crying in court, the mum said: “I was just broken. I couldn’t. Lucy Letby bathed him in front of me in the neo-natal unit.
“After he was bathed, he was placed in a white gown. I just remember being thankful as we had no clothes for him as he was so little. He was given back to us, and put in his incubator, and that is where he stayed.”
Letby also gave the mum a ‘memory box’ for Child E, which included a memory card, lock of his hair, teddy, hand and footprints; something that left the mum ‘overcome with emotion’.