Lucy Letby’s parents did not miss a single day of their daughter’s 10-month trial at Manchester Crown Court.
John and Susan Letby even relocated from their home in Hereford, on the England-Wales border, to live in Manchester.
The pair wanted to hear every detail of the case, perhaps clinging to desperate hope that their beloved only child might be innocent in all of this.
She wasn’t – far from it.
A cold-blooded, calculated, twisted newborn baby serial killer; her crimes are so disturbing, they hardly bear thinking about.
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When Letby, 33, was led away from the dock after the first two guilty verdicts of murder had been handed down, she burst into tears.
Coming to the realisation that her own daughter – whose job as a nurse was to nurture and protect little children coming into the world – Letby’s mother also completely broke down.
‘You can’t be serious, this can’t be right’
As Susan, 63, an accounts clerk, was comforted by her retail boss husband John, 77, in the public gallery, she shielded her face and sobbed.
She then fell into her husband’s arms and whispered eight words: ‘You can’t be serious, this can’t be right.’
The jury would go on to find Letby guilty of the murder of seven babies in total – and the attempted murder of six others.
In a desperate attempt to protect her daughter when she was first arrested, Susan reportedly wailed, according to MailOnline, and even told police: ‘I did it, take me instead.’
Investigators suspect Letby had told her parents scant detail of the horrific nature of the crimes she was being accused of before they endured the reality in court.
Among Letby’s several sickening methods to harm or sabotage babies, she would inject them with air to cause a fatal embolism, overfeed milk, interfere with breathing tubes, or physically assault them.
She carried out her wave of murders and attempted murders while working on the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.
After consultants discovered that Letby was the ‘one common denominator’ on the ward where the death rate had doubled, police were called in to investigate.
She was eventually arrested at her semi-detached home in Westbourne Road, Chester, at 6am on July 3, 2018.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC told the jury she was ‘the constant malevolent presence when things took a turn for the worse for these children’.
Letby, he said, was an ‘opportunist’ who became ‘persistent, calculated and cold-blooded’ in her determination to kill, sometimes attacking the tiny babies multiple times.
Jurors had heard how the seven babies who died would all have been well enough to go home had they not been attacked by Letby.
They spent more than 100 hours deliberating over the course of 22 days before convicting her of seven counts of murder following a trial which lasted a mammoth 10 months.
Judge Mr Justice Goss will sentence her at a later date, but the cowardly Letby has already said she will choose not to attend the hearing.
She faces life behind bars for the abominable offences.
There has been nothing to suggest that Susan and John were anything but loving parents to Letby, who was raised as an only child in a 1930s semi-detached home in a cul-de-sac.
The couple still own the same house and would holiday regularly in Torquay, with Letby going with them until her arrest five years ago.
They will now have to come to terms with the fact that their daughter is a convicted murderer.
But nothing could compare to the impact it has had on the ‘heartbroken, devastated and angry’ families who had children taken away, leaving them feeling ‘numb’.
Speaking on behalf of the families outside court, Janet Moore, family liaison coordinator, said: ‘Words cannot effectively explain how we’re feeling at this moment in time. We are quite simply stunned.
‘To lose a baby is a heartbreaking experience no parent should ever have to go through, but to lose a baby or to have a baby harmed in these particular circumstances is unimaginable.
‘Over the past seven to eight years we’ve had to go through a long and torturous emotional journey.
‘From losing our precious newborns and grieving their loss, seeing our children who survived, some of whom are still suffering today, to being told years later that their death or collapse might be suspicious. Nothing can prepare you for that news.
‘Today, justice has been served and the nurse who should have been caring for our babies has been found guilty of harming them.
‘But this justice will not take away from the extreme hurt, anger and distress that we have all had to experience.
‘Some families did not receive the verdict that they expected and, therefore, it is a bittersweet result.
‘We are heartbroken, devastated, angry and feel numb. We may never truly know why this happened.’
In the statement, the families expressed their gratitude to jurors for sitting through 145 days of ‘gruelling’ evidence.
They also thanked medical experts, consultants, doctors and nursing staff who came to give evidence during the trial, which they described as ‘extremely harrowing and distressing’ at times to listen to.
‘The search for the truth has remained at the forefront of everyone’s minds and we will forever be grateful for this,’ they said.
A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children who were the subject of the allegations.
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