Lucy Letby murder trial: Nurse tells court she kept baby's medical notes under her bed because she 'collects paper'

Nurse Lucy Letby has said she took confidential medical notes home from the baby unit where she worked because she "collects paper".

On her 12th day of giving evidence, Letby was questioned about the care of Baby M, a twin, who collapsed while being treated at the Countess of Chester Hospital in April 2016.

In total, she's accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others. She denies all the charges.

Nurse tells court why she kept alleged victim's notes under her bed - trial as it happened

Letby agreed she had taken Baby M's blood gas record paperwork home, but said nothing should be read into it.

The notes were found in a police search of her home in Chester.

"It just got put in my pocket and it has come home with me," Letby told the jury at Manchester Crown Court.

When asked why she stored it in a bag under her bed, she said: "Because I collect paper."

Prosecuting, Nick Johnson KC, asked if she had taken paperwork from the bin for confidential waste on the neonatal unit.

"I definitely did not take anything out of the confidential waste bin," she replied.

"I have never rooted in the bin for anything," she later added.

She was pressed as to what made her keep the notes when she shredded other things like bank statements.

"What made this collectable?" Mr Johnson asked.

Letby said she would have shredded bank statements because they would have been "at the forefront of her mind".

Letby 'shoved foreign object' down infant's throat

One of the babies Lucy Letby is accused of trying to hurt collapsed so dramatically that his parents were offered a priest, the court is told.

Child N collapsed at at 7.15am and 3pm on 15 June 2016 and Letby is accused of using his haemophilia diagnosis to cover her tracks. The first collapse happened three minutes after she swiped onto the neonatal unit.

Just after he collapsed, she is alleged to have called Child N's father but not relayed how serious the collapse was.

Letby claimed she did not make this phone call.

"Do you remember [Child N's] parents arriving," Mr Johnson said.

"Not in entirety, no," Letby replied.

But WhatsApp messages between Letby and a colleague dispute this.

Colleague (1.52pm): [Baby N's] parents been in?

Letby (1.54pm) Yeah came not long after you left and both stayed since

Child N collapsed again when his parents went to get something to eat.

"Such was the dramatic nature of the collapse they were offered a priest," Mr Johnson said.

He then asked: "What had you done to [Child N] to make him bleed?"

"I hadn't done anything to him," Letby replied.

The blood seen in Child N's throat was similar to that seen with Child E, and a doctor's note from the time said the bleeding was unlike anything he had ever seen before.

"You had shoved some foreign object down [Child N's] throat," Mr Johnson says,

"Absolutely not, no," Letby says.

Nurse 'texted non-stop' while feeding a baby

WhatsApp shown to the court indicated Letby was texting a colleague non-stop at the same time medical notes recorded her as feeding a baby (not a child she is accused of harming in this case).

The texts included ones about a colleague Letby was allegedly "sweet on". In one of the messages, the colleague encouraged her to 'Go commando'.

"How do you text when you do the two-handed job of feeding a child?" Mr Johnson asked.

"You can't," said Letby.

He said the only way it could have been done is if Letby fed the baby in her care very quickly.

"You think I pushed it in," said Letby.

"I do," replies Nick Johnson.

Letby denies all charges

The police investigation at the maternity unit in Chester started after an unusually high number of infant deaths in 2015 and 2016.

Letby was arrested and then later charged but has denied harming any baby during her career.

The trial, which started in October 2022, continues.