Nurse Lucy Letby photographed a condolence card sent to the grieving parents of a baby girl to remember their “kind words”, a court heard.
Letby, 33, took the image of the card on her mobile phone before the child’s funeral, Manchester Crown Court was told.
She is accused of murdering the premature infant, known as Child I, in the early hours of October 23, 2015, in what the Crown says was the fourth attempt to take her life.
On Tuesday, extracts from Letby’s interviews with Cheshire Police following her arrest were read out in court.
Shown a photograph of the card, the officer asked: “Can you explain, Lucy, what that is?”
Letby said: “Yes, I sent a condolence card to the parents because I couldn’t attend the funeral.”
The detective said: “Okay, is this normal practice, Lucy?”
Letby replied: “No. Well, it’s not often that we get to know a family as well as we do (Child I).”
The detective said: “Okay, is there a reason you didn’t go to the funeral?”
Letby said: “I was working. I couldn’t change my turn. It was suggested that I could send a card through one of the other nurses who were going.”
The detective asked: “Have you sent cards to other parents before, Lucy?
“No,” she replied.
The detective asked: “Why did you take photos of him on your phone?”
Letby said: “To remember the things I sent them.”
Letby wrote on the card: “There are no words to make this time any easier.
“It was a privilege (sic) to take care of you (Child I) and to know you as a family – a family that always put (Child I) first and did everything possible for her.
“She will always be a part of your life and we will never forget her.
“Thinking of you today and always – I’m sorry I can’t be there to say goodbye.
“Lots of love Lucy x.”
The message printed on the card read: “Your love will be remembered with many smiles.”
The latest updates on the Lucy Letby trial:
Who is Lucy Letby and where is she from?
Letby’s address is in court as Arran Avenue, Hereford, but the 33-year-old is known to have lived in the Blacon area of Chester.
She worked in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
In an interview with the Chester and District Standard newspaper in 2013, the nurse said she looked after children who needed different levels of support.
She worked in the unit as a trainee nurse during three years of training before qualifying as a children’s nurse at the University of Chester in 2011.
Letby said she started working in the unit after graduating.
When was Lucy Letby arrested and what was she charged with?
Letby was arrested three times over two years during an investigation into the death of babies at the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
The first arrest was made in July 2018, on suspicion of the murder of eight infants and the attempted murder of six children. She was bailed out.
Letby was then arrested again in June 2019, again on suspicion of the murder of eight infants and the attempted murder of six children. This time, she was also arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of three additional children. She was bailed out.
Finally, in November 2020, Letby was arrested again on suspicion of the murder of eight infants and the attempted murder of nine children.
A day later, police charged Letby with eight counts of murder and 10 counts of attempted murder. The charges related to a period between June 2015 and June 2016.
She pleaded not guilty to the charges at a hearing at Manchester Crown Court in October 2021.
In June last year, Letby recorded one not guilty verdict on one of the murder charges.
It meant that when she went on trial in October last year, she faced seven charges of murder (five boys and two girls) and 10 charges of attempted murder (five boys and five girls).
Letby denies the alleged offences.