Lucy Letby: 'Unusual' findings in X-rays court hears

Lucy Letby has been charged with the murder of seven babies, as well as the attempted murder of a further 10 babies whilst working on the neo-natal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

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“Quite unusual” – the jury in the Lucy Letby trial has seen X-rays of one the babies the former nurse is accused of murdering.

Lucy Letby, 32, has been charged with the murder of seven babies, as well as the attempted murder of a further 10 babies whilst working on the neo-natal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital. She denies all the charges against her.

The focus of this week has been on Child A and Child B in this case – twins born in June of 2015. It has been alleged that Lucy Letby murdered Child A with an injection of air into his bloodstream, and that she attempted to murder Child B via the same method.

This morning, the jury has heard from Consultant Paediatric Radiologist, Dr Owen Arthurs. He is a specialist in imaging and image interpretation, especially in children.

The court was presented with two X-ray images of Child A – one from before his death, and one from after. The prosecution had Dr Arthurs explain the significance of these images to the court.

In the image taken hours before Child A’s death, Dr Arthurs said he could see nothing unusual and that his heart and lungs appeared normal.

However, in an image taken in the days after Child A’s death, Dr Arthurs pointed out “a line of gas” just above and parallel to the spine. This was something he observed to be “quite unusual”, stating that this isn’t seen in instances of natural death.

Dr Arthurs went on to say that he had only ever seen this feature of an X-ray once before. When prompted, he told the court that this was in an image of a separate child involved in the trial.

As part of the cross-examination, Dr Arthurs also explained that there could be “a number of potential explanations” for the gas being present in the X-ray image.

Later, the jury also heard from a nurse – who cannot be named for legal reasons – that was on duty the night Child A was allegedly murdered by Lucy Letby.

When asked about Child A’s appearance at that time, she said: “I had never seen a baby look like that way before. He looked very ill.

“He had a discolouration pattern I had never seen before. It was purple blotchiness with white.”

The trial will resume at Manchester Crown Court next week.