How Indian-Origin Doctor Helped Catch British Nurse Guilty Of Murdering 7 Newborns
London: Lucy Letby, the UK’s most prolific child killer, was on Friday found guilty of murdering seven newborn babies and trying to murder six others at Countess of Chester Hospital.
The 33-year-old nurse, who worked at the neonatal department of the hospital in north-west England, committed the heinous crimes between June 2015 and June 2016.
Letby managed to puzzle hospital authorities and police before being formally charged and retained in custody after being arrested for the third time in 2020.
An Indian-origin doctor was among those who raised concerns and suspected Letby’s actions, which ultimately helped convict the nurse.
Dr Ravi Jayaram, a consultant paediatrician at Countess of Chester Hospital with over 10 years’ experience of working under National Health Service (NHS), said some of the newborns could have been saved if his concerns about his former colleague had been heeded and the police alerted sooner.
“I do genuinely believe that there are four or five babies who could be going to school now who aren’t,” Jayaram told ITV News in an interview after the verdict.
Dr Jayaram revealed that he kept pleading with hospital managers for about two years to investigate Letby.
Not only was his claim ignored, Dr Jayaram was even made to apologise and attend meditation with her.
Dr Jayaram, who did his undergraduate training in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and trained in paediatrics in Bristol, New South Wales and London, told the TV channel that his suspicions about Letby were confirmed when he saw the nurse attending to a baby one evening.
“That is a night that is etched on my memory and will be in my nightmares forever,” recalled Dr Jayaram.
He told the channel that he and other consultants first started doubting Letby after three babies died in June 2015. As more babies collapsed and died, some senior doctors like him held several meetings with hospital executives to raise concerns about Letby.
It was eventually in April 2017 that the NHS trust allowed doctors to meet a police officer.
“The police, after listening to us for less than 10 minutes, realised that this is something that they had to be involved with. I could have punched the air,” said Dr Jayaram.
An investigation was launched shortly afterwards.
She was first arrested in July 2018, but charged only in November 2020 after being nabbed for the third time.