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Lucy Letby - Baby killler or statistics victim?

Did anyone read this article on notorious UK nurse sentenced to killing several babies? I was a little bit shocked how she was condemned without any actual evidence on the deaths other than statistics and some misguided post-its.

The defence seemed also very incompetent. What say you, Miss Marples from datalounge?

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by Anonymousreply 46June 4, 2024 7:15 PM

Yeah, this article has caused a massive stir on UK Twitter, even though everyone needed a VPN because it's blocked in the UK where she is currently facing a retrial on the one count of attempted murder they couldn't decide. Lots of people coming out in favour of innocence now.

I followed the case relatively closely at the time and quite a lot of stuff here was reported before. During the trial it was a concern to me that the prosecution were saying things like 'this postmortem x-ray is consistent with an air embolism' (her alleged method) which is of course a long way from saying the x-ray *proves* an air embolism.

The claim in the NY piece that it is scientifically unknown whether it is possible to kill babies by forcing air down a nasogastric tube was certainly news to me. The biggest thing that comes out of this article however is the claim that the test used on the two babies poisoned by insulin was not capable of detecting whether it had been exogenously administered. This is a problem for me because by the end of the trial I decided I thought that she was probably guilty, but I still had some doubts. The insulin cases were important in proving to me that foul play had happened somewhere, because there didn't seem to be an innocent way those results could have been recorded. Remove those, and the prosecution case for the rest looks even flimsier.

Only 3 of her convictions were unanimous, the rest were 10-1 majority. 2 of the unanimous convictions were the insulin cases, so if we strike those there's only one other case which convinced all the jury of her guilt, and IIRC it's the murder of 'Child O', one of the triplets. I believe this was the baby who suffered massive liver damage, akin to having been in a car crash. I don't think Aviv mentioned that in her piece, so I'd be interested to hear more about any potential issues there could be with that conviction.

If she really didn't do it what an awful thing to happen to her.

by Anonymousreply 1May 17, 2024 11:57 PM

The true crime fraus were even worse during this case than in the Chris Watts one. I was in an FB group where they spent all day riling each other up to imagine all the horrific violence the other female lags, who would be separated from their own children, would be inflicting on Letby. Towards mid-December one of the ringleaders started to post about how she was imagining Letby getting glass in her Christmas dinner..... it seems that a lot of these women had experienced loss of young babies themselves, and apparently fantasising about burning Letby at the stake was the way they were going to deal with it. It brought home to me that the true crime industry genuinely needs a comprehensive health warning.

by Anonymousreply 2May 18, 2024 12:01 AM

Oh yeah, and why the fuck did the defence lawyer have a medical expert lined up and not use him? A legally-trained friend of mine did suggest that the defence might deliberately be trying to throw the trial and that's why they put Letby on the stand. Not sure I go along with that but just offering a plumber as a witness looked horrible.

by Anonymousreply 3May 18, 2024 12:05 AM

Oh yeah and one last one: it's scary how many times you read 'the police and CPS wouldn't have brought the case if they weren't 100% sure' posted on the groups in the early stages of the trial.

by Anonymousreply 4May 18, 2024 12:13 AM

I read that story in the New Yorker and was aghast but then I looked at her Wikipedia page and strangely, it mentions a lot more evidence against her that wasn’t in the article.

by Anonymousreply 5May 18, 2024 5:54 AM

Didn't she actually keep a journal in which she detailed her crimes?

by Anonymousreply 6May 18, 2024 9:00 AM

R6 not exactly. she had a kind of notebook where she scribbled down all sorts of random shit, names of her cats, expressions of despair and so on, and at one point she does write 'i am evil i did this', but then shortly below she writes 'i have done nothing wrong'. Somewhere else there's a 'i killed them because I wasn't good enough' and much more ravings of that sort.

So, a confession, or just the nonsense babbling of a mind in the middle of a breakdown? We might never know.

by Anonymousreply 7May 18, 2024 9:38 AM

They threw all sorts of random shit at her during the trial. It was suggested that she was having an affair with a married doctor and was killing babies to get his attention. This she denied. Then they quoted a text message she sent just before coming back from a holiday 'Back with a bang!' and suggested it meant she was planning to kill the triplets. Again, no proof and that message could mean literally anything.

One creepy thing she did was to take home medical notes and other paper relating to the babies she was looking after - blood gas readings etc - and kept it as souvenirs. Some of the children she was accused of murdering were in her paper collection, which looks damning, but so too were other babies she wasn't accused of harming. Her defence was 'I collect paper'.

She facebook stalked a lot, including colleagues, and bereaved parents. She's not good at maintaining healthy boundaries, put it that way.

by Anonymousreply 8May 18, 2024 9:44 AM

One cruel but very funny post on her subreddit was four words, 'She's just so basic', with each word a hyperlink to a different photo of her bedroom, showing her Ibiza tote bag, her ']Sparkles everywhere' wall hanging, her Gavin and Stacey novel, and some stuffed animals.

None of the disturbing stories we expected came out after her conviction. The press had nothing

So this is either wrong or she is the most incredible masker/ the most dangerous dormant volcano in history.

by Anonymousreply 9May 18, 2024 9:58 AM

Apparently she also altered her time sheets to make it look like she wasn’t working when the deaths occurred.

by Anonymousreply 10May 18, 2024 11:46 AM

[quote]Apparently she also altered her time sheets to make it look like she wasn’t working when the deaths occurred.

I didn't see that accusation anywhere.

That was a very disturbing article and raised serious questions about the quality of the evidence against this woman. Even the pivotal "she was the only nurse always there' wasn't true." The statistics were cherry picked as far as the time period. The hospital was very poorly run but the NHS is so revered you can't emphasize how shit this one was.

It's also disturbing how the New Yorker article is banned in Britain because it's not allowed to create mistrust of the judicial system. WTF?

by Anonymousreply 11May 18, 2024 12:52 PM

R11 I'm pretty sure that's just while she is getting tried again for the one verdict they couldn't reach.

by Anonymousreply 12May 18, 2024 2:43 PM

It was on the Wikipedia page.

by Anonymousreply 13May 18, 2024 2:53 PM

R13 I found it. It's relevant that she only altered them after she was removed from her job and her presence on the shifts was the only evidence against her that she knew about. Her mind was already starting to melt from the stress.

by Anonymousreply 14May 18, 2024 3:34 PM

R5, i went to the wiki page and except for a mother trial testimony on seeing her when one of the babies was in distress, every other issue seems tp be covered by the New Yorker story.

I find this troubling because even in the wikipedia page under evidence almost all references are qualified as suspicious and not actual evidence, either from the causes of death or any specific behavior on her part other than being aroud at times.

It is really scary. I do hope she is guilty, because when i was reading the NY article (i didn’t know anything about the matter until the ), i kept waiting for the clinch but suddenly she is being arrested without evidence. The blackout may have its reasons but is alsp self-serving.

by Anonymousreply 15May 18, 2024 11:22 PM

Letby was denied her application to appeal. Unlike the U.S., in Britain you don't have the automatic right to appeal.

I do not believe she is guilty. What a tragedy.

by Anonymousreply 16May 25, 2024 3:36 PM

Lucy Letby? Was she named after a character from a comic strip?

by Anonymousreply 17May 25, 2024 3:40 PM

R16 My understanding is that an appeal would only be granted on a point of law: that is, if the panel of judges agreed that the trial judge (Mr Justice Goss) had erred in any of his instructions during the trial. The appeal application argued that the judge erred in refusing four applications from the defence during the trial, but evidently the panel disagreed. Unfortunately reporting restrictions prevent us from knowing the details.

If she ever gets this overturned, I'd say it's more likely to come via new evidence that the jury didn't hear. Strangely, the defence did not call its own medical experts during the trial to refute the evidence given by the prosecution experts. The New Yorker article quoted one person who was surprised and was expecting to be called. It's not clear why the defence did this, especially Letby's barrister, Ben Myers, seems to be highly rated. Perhaps he judged that any such testimony would hurt Letby rather than help her.

All that said, the same defence team made the appeal application. If Letby's conviction is ever to be quashed she may have to argue that she had unacceptably bad representation, and a good team would have called its own expert witnesses. This might be a very long shot.

by Anonymousreply 18May 28, 2024 5:05 PM

R17 Her name funnily enough was what got me interested in the case. To me it sounds very old-fashioned and English, like a character in a Forster novel perhaps. 'Classic' names are back in vogue, but Letby was born in 1990. She was the only child of older parents, who owned a retail business and worked in accounts (her father was in his mid 40s when she was born). They lived in Herefordshire, they are probably very small-c conservative and perhaps a little suffocating. No indication her background was anything other than incredibly normal.

R16 I'm in two minds about her guilt but I have real doubts that the conviction is safe. I wouldn't be sleeping well at night if I had played a major role in putting her in jail.

by Anonymousreply 19May 28, 2024 5:13 PM

Completely agree, r19, she may as well be guilty but reading the article (and the wiki page) there seems to be a lot of assumptions and statistics and almost non-existent material evidence. These were not murders carried out in a private home or space, but in a public hospital, with lots of people going in and out and no one saw a thing (or are there any records on drugs, etc). Again, i hope she is guilty because otherwise the miscarriage of justice is horrible to contemplate.

by Anonymousreply 20May 29, 2024 9:13 PM

i've read some comments elsewhere taking down this piece that seem very convincing, but then replies to those comments that are a million words long and i decided i don't have the time.

by Anonymousreply 21May 29, 2024 9:20 PM

R18 It seems the difference between the U.S. and Britain regarding appeals is that Britain requires an extra step before the Court of Appeals, the Tribunal something or other.

At any rate, you seem to have followed this case and I'm flummoxed by the lack of evidence against Letby. Other than she was present at the cases they chose to examine, is there something I'm missing? Did any of her co workers suspect anything? From the article it seems like the hospital was severely short staffed and poorly run in general, and it was the suspicions of one doctor, based on nothing more than a feeling, that was enough to doom Letby. My first thought was of course he would want to blame the nursing if his babies were dying instead of looking elsewhere first.

by Anonymousreply 22May 29, 2024 9:49 PM

R22 Sure, but first I'm going to be a massively tedious pedant and clarify that here we are not talking about 'British' law, but the Law of England and Wales (as distinct from Scottish or Irish law).

There was a lot of 'evidence' but the question is whether it all added up to anything conclusive and how much of it was just based on speculation and confirmation bias.

Firstly, a number of babies collapsed and died when the staff looking after them were not expecting them to do so based on known facts about their health. Letby was the only staff member present at all these incidents (but if you believe the New Yorker, other incidents may have been excluded simply because she was not present). At the trial a lot of work went into establishing her movements into the babies wards and around the different nurseries, with the intention of establishing a proximity to each baby at or shortly before the collapse. Of course, this is a form of statistical evidence, subject to the kinds of critique made by eg Richard Gill who has campaigned on the issue. When Letby was moved from night to day shifts, babies stopped dying at night and started dying during the day.

Initially the death certificates said that the babies died of natural causes. But when the police investigation was launched and the evidence was re-examined, the independent 'expert' Dewi Evans (his expertise is disputed) put forward the theory that at least some of these babies died of air embolism, ie air being deliberately injected into the body to cause a 'crash'. Apparently, this ought to cause a strangely coloured, mottled rash which some of Letby's colleagues recall seeing at the time, but not understanding the significance of. It has also been suggested that in postmortem X-rays, etc, an unusual amount of air was detected around the 'great vessels'. On the other hand, Evans would often say in giving evidence 'these findings are consistent with air embolism', which is not the same thing as saying 'these findings prove air embolism'. CPR and other medical procedures can also introduce air into the body.

One of the dead babies had very significant liver damage, as bad as being in a car accident. The prosecution said that this was because Letby used some kind of blunt force on him. The defence argued that it could have been caused by resuscitation.

Two children, whom she was convicted of attempting to murder, had very high insulin readings, suggesting that they were deliberately poisoned by synthetic insulin administered by someone in the hospital. This was actually the evidence that made me think that she probably did do it, since it seemed to suggest that someone must have committed foul play. However, if you believe the New Yorker article the test they used was not designed to detect administration of synthetic insulin and can't be considered reliable. The murder of child O (with the liver damage) and attempted murder of the two insulin babies were the only three guilty verdicts that the jury unanimously voted for. Everything else she was convicted of was a 10-1 majority verdict. .

by Anonymousreply 23May 29, 2024 10:27 PM

Another child, child E, was found by his mother bleeding profusely from his mouth, with Letby in the room at the time. She brushed it aside as being caused by his feeding tube. Letby and the mother disagree about various timings of conversations that night, which was used as proof that Letby had been lying (since the mother had records of when she made various phone calls).

Beyond that is where it gets a lot more speculative.

She took a lot of material relating to the babies she looked after home and kept it around the house, including medical records and weird stuff like blood gas readings which she may have fished out of a bin. Some of this material relating to babies she was accused of killing/harming, but there was also material relating to other babies. A serial killer's trophies, or just someone with poor boundaries and no concept of data protection?

She looked up a lot of people she met on Facebook all the time, including the parents of some of the dead babies. Colleagues also noticed she was always around when some of these parents were grieving having just lost their children, and offering to do things like make prints of their feet, memory boxes and so on. Caring nurse or grief vampire? She was on holiday and a nurse texted her to tell her that triplets had been born on the ward. She texted back that she would be 'back with a bang then'. Later, two of the triplets died. Does that mean anything?

After she was accused she wrote a series of rambling notes which included the phrase 'I am evil, I did this' but also 'I haven't done anything wrong'. A confession, or the ramblings of someone going through a breakdown?

There were also suggestions that she was trying to impress a married doctor she fancied.

Some of the consultants (not just 1 - I think maybe 4) on the ward suspected her, largely because she was present for each of the deaths. They tried to get her removed from the unit but encountered resistance from management and in the end had to write her a letter of apology. I think the nursing staff were more split on her guilt or innocence.

The defence tried to argue that there was no conclusive medical evidence that any of these deaths were caused by foul play. They also heard testimony from a plumber that the plumbing in the hospital had major problems and that sewage-contaminated water would sometimes spurt back into the bathrooms, thus possibly a source of infection which could threaten these vulnerable babies. The defence didn't call any of their own medical experts, I'm really not sure why - this looks like a very bad choice on their part.

Most or all of this evidence is circumstantial, but the judge specified that the jury would be permitted to allow it all to build up into a picture.

As I said, I thought that the insulin readings probably proved some form of malicious actor (which couldn't really be anyone but Letby) but now that those findings have been challenged I'm rapidly coming round to the view that the conviction is not safe

by Anonymousreply 24May 29, 2024 10:28 PM

The bitch is innocent.

by Anonymousreply 25May 29, 2024 10:56 PM

[quote]They also heard testimony from a plumber that the plumbing in the hospital had major problems and that sewage-contaminated water would sometimes spurt back into the bathrooms

Good Lord. Is the NHS going to get any help from the next government?

by Anonymousreply 26May 29, 2024 10:57 PM

R26 Unfortunately not, Keir Starmer will be in charge and he has made it his mission not to deviate from Tory politics in any meaningful way.

The building in question dates from the 1960s and there's a plan to build a new one. The Countess of Chester hospital has met some of its infrastructure needs by launching charity fundraising appeals. In 2013 they launched an appeal for a new neonatal unit and raised £2.4million.

Guess who was chosen to be one of the faces of the appeal???

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by Anonymousreply 27May 29, 2024 11:08 PM

I thought that the New Yorker article was disturbingly persuasive. There’s no conclusive proof that any of the infants were murdered. The author implies that the dire conditions at the hospital, the poor quality of the prenatal healthcare the mothers had received and the rush to blame Letby for the deaths, is all of piece. Nothing is functioning well in the UK.

by Anonymousreply 28May 30, 2024 12:38 AM

Readers might enjoy this article about Richard Gill, a campaigning statistician who argues that use of stats in many of these legal cases is highly flawed and prone to confirmation bias. He helped secure the acquittal on appeal of Dutch nurse Lucia de Berk, and now he is campaigning for Lucy Letby & other convicted nurses.

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by Anonymousreply 29June 4, 2024 12:00 PM

She killed them.

by Anonymousreply 30June 4, 2024 12:04 PM

No, she didn’t. See R29 and elsewhere..

by Anonymousreply 31June 4, 2024 12:12 PM

LOL Concerned European is a total crank. Not surprising he's ended up in a wormhole defending a baby killer.

I mean seriously??????

[quote][R17] Her name funnily enough was what got me interested in the case. To me it sounds very old-fashioned and English, like a character in a Forster novel perhaps. 'Classic' names are back in vogue, but Letby was born in 1990.

A quick internet search will show Lucy was one of the 25 most popular names in the UK throughout the 80s, 90s and well into the 00s. Lucy Honeychurch, Lucy Ewing and Lucy Robinson may have helped or hindered its popularity but it was totally unremarkable for a British baby born in 1990 to be called Lucy.

by Anonymousreply 32June 4, 2024 1:14 PM

R32 Concerned European didn't post that. What's your fucking problem? Have you read anything about the case other than DL for your education? Did the words 'New Yorker article' send you into spasms of anxiety and dread because you have the attention span of a gnat?

by Anonymousreply 33June 4, 2024 1:19 PM

R32 I thought you were referring to R17. Yes CE posted the remarks about her name being old fashioned.

And now tell me why the fucking fuck hell that makes him a crank. You, on the other hand, sound like one.

by Anonymousreply 34June 4, 2024 1:24 PM

Calm down R33/R34, you'll do yourself an injury.

I followed the case since the arrest and I have a professional interest in proceedings. My colleagues also followed the trial - one of them was involved in the clinical investigation into Ben Geen's nursing history in Oxford in the mid 00s.

On the evidence presented about the deterioration in the babies health, Letby's actions and behaviour and the evidence of her colleagues who raised alarms about her I believe she was guilty.

by Anonymousreply 35June 4, 2024 1:58 PM

Well, I can honestly say I've lived most of my life in the UK and I've only ever met one Lucy, so, whaddya know. Maybe they're more common in small-town and medium-town England. Oh well.

Anyway, fuck you R35 who are you calling a crank? But thanks for all the masses of insight your professional background is providing. Isn't it a little bit concerning though that there is no direct evidence against her: certainly not if you discount the two insulin cases?

7 whole life terms, and no appeal permitted. Hmmm.

by Anonymousreply 36June 4, 2024 2:07 PM

[quote] On the evidence presented about the deterioration in the babies health, Letby's actions and behaviour and the evidence of her colleagues who raised alarms about her I believe she was guilty.

You're just parroting the guilty verdict. We know she was found guilty, this thread is questioning the verdict. Yet your only contribution is attacking a poster's confession that he found the name 'Lucy' old fashioned?

You're either dumb or a troll, maybe both.

by Anonymousreply 37June 4, 2024 3:40 PM

Lucy was a super-popular name in the UK in the 90s and 00s. Still quite popular now.

I admit I haven't read the full thread, but if Letby really is innocent, why were so many of her colleagues concerned by the disproportionate number of emergencies while she was on duty?

by Anonymousreply 38June 4, 2024 5:07 PM

[quote]I admit I haven't read the full thread, but if Letby really is innocent, why were so many of her colleagues concerned by the disproportionate number of emergencies while she was on duty?

Not just that but during the period she was taken off clinical duties and given an admin role the incidents stopped completely. And they started again when she returned to NICU.

by Anonymousreply 39June 4, 2024 5:13 PM

[quote]And they started again when she returned to NICU.

I got my timeline wrong.

There was a review in early 2016 and Letby's involvement was raised but she was allowed to carry on working until June when there were 2 incidents in April and another 2 murders and 1 attempted murder. That's when she was moved to an admin role and the incidents stopped.

by Anonymousreply 40June 4, 2024 5:37 PM

R39 R40 If you're not going to read the articles and simply repeat the verdict you can go now. Thanks for your worthless opinions. Have a nice day.

by Anonymousreply 41June 4, 2024 5:48 PM

R41 the thread title is "Baby killer or statistics victim".

If the thread was called Lucy Letby is innocent - let's help prove it" i would steer clear.

But she is a baby killer.

Soz hun xx

by Anonymousreply 42June 4, 2024 5:53 PM

I read the New Yorker cover to cover every week, including this article. The journalist was clearly making a case, which disappointed me. Even if she's convinced Letby is innocent, I would've liked to hear a steel-man case for why she was convicted.

by Anonymousreply 43June 4, 2024 6:03 PM

UK readers might be aware of another high-profile case of Ben Myers KC, Letby's defence barrister.

He acted for David Duckenfield, Chief Superintendent and Match Commander on the day of the Hillsborough disaster. After the inquiry in 2016 revealed that Duckenfield had ordered the gates of Hillsborough Stadium open to allow pressing fans rapid entry, directly leading to the fatal crush on the terraces, it seemed that he was destined for the slammer (and it would have been much more convenient for the government had he gone). But Myers managed to get him off on 95 counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.

He's very good at what he does, or so it would seem. But in this case he and the defence team accepted in court that the insulin test results demonstrated that either Letby or someone else on the wards was a deliberate poisoner. They did this even though the very lab the test came from put a warning about its limitations and unreliability in this area on its website!!!!

How did he screw this up so badly?????

by Anonymousreply 44June 4, 2024 6:05 PM

[quote] why were so many of her colleagues concerned by the disproportionate number of emergencies

Again, reading the article would have shown you that were NOT 'so many' of her colleagues concerned about Letby. it was the opposite-everyone she worked with thought she was a first rate nurse.

It was ONE guy, the head pediatrician, who just had a feeling about her always being there when there was an incident. He is also a t.v. doctor, a real celebrity. He decided it couldn't be his sub-par department and hospital that was causing the infant deaths, must be a murdering nurse. Deaths spiked on the maternity ward too during that period.

by Anonymousreply 45June 4, 2024 7:00 PM

A true woman of action! I applaud her.

by Anonymousreply 46June 4, 2024 7:15 PM
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