The British neonatal nurse accused of killing seven infants claimed issues with raw sewage in the Manchester hospital where they were under her care may have been a “contributing factor” in the babies’ deaths.
Lucy Letby, 33, testified that the intensive care nursery where at least one of the newborns died was “not a safe working environment” and could have poorly affected a vulnerable infant’s health during day eight of providing testimony in her trial, The Guardian reported.
“We used to have raw sewage coming out of the sinks [and] coming out on the floor in nursery one,” she said at Manchester crown court, according to the publication.
Letby added that frequent plumbing issues like “backflow” in the room “nursery one” made it so staff “were unable to wash their hands” and created a “dirty” intensive care unit.
“That’s not a safe working environment. I’m not sure what impact that could have on a poorly baby,” she said when questioned about the alleged murder of a 6-day-old twin boy inside the nursery room on Aug. 4, 2015, the UK outlet reported.
The nurse is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill 10 more in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.
She has repeatedly denied the accusations and claimed her innocence.
The baby boy’s mother found Letby allegedly trying to kill her premature infant son when she entered the room to bring him breast milk the night before he died, the devastated mom told jurors.
She said she saw blood around the baby’s mouth and heard his “horrendous” screams as Letby stood over his incubator when she walked into the nursery room, according to The Guardian.
The mother said the nurse told her that a nasogastric tube was inserted which caused the boy to bleed, but Letby denied her account and said it didn’t happen.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC directly asked Letby if she killed the baby by injecting him with air as she had done with other infants to which she replied “No,” the outlet reported.
The nurse allegedly went after the baby’s twin brother 24 hours later and tried to kill him by lacing his feeding bag with insulin. That child survived.
Prosecutor’s have also accused Letby of being “obsessed” with the twins’ mother as she searched Facebook for the bereaved mom nine times after their deaths and photographed a card from the parents.
Earlier this month, the ex-nurse sobbed on the stand as she spoke about how being arrested had “traumatized her.”
She said she was “devastated” by the accusations made against her.
“It was sickening. I just couldn’t believe it,” she said of the moment she learned she had been suspended from neonatal care following a string of unexplained infant deaths.