Despite being imprisoned for life for killing seven babies and attempting to kill another six, serial killer nurse Lucy Letby’s friends and former coworkers still maintain their belief in her innocence.
A jury at Manchester Crown Court heard testimony over the previous ten months that Letby poisoned preterm newborns with inulin and injected her victims with air.
Despite the fact that the judge referred to her conduct as a “cruel, calculated, and cynical campaign of child murder,” a number of the 33-year-old’s close friends have continued to support her.
One of them was Janet Cox, Letby’s longtime friend and former nursing coworker who frequently attended court hearings with her parents.
Months after she was removed from the unit amid growing concerns that her presence may be connected to a string of “unexplained and inexplicable” fatalities, pictures of Cox hugging Letby and donning Christmas sweaters have surfaced.
She answered “Yes” when asked if she still believed in her friend’s innocence by the MailOnline when they approached her outside of her house, but she declined to clarify.
In a statement to BBC Panorama, a different childhood friend indicated that she still believed Letby was innocent and hinted at additional support from her pals.
Dawn Howe, 33, a cancer research scientist, has known Letby since they attended Aylestone secondary school in Hereford together.
“Unless Lucy turned around and said ‘I’m guilty’ I will never believe that she’s guilty,” she told the BBC. “We know she couldn’t have done anything that she’s accused of, so without a doubt we stand by her
“I grew up with Lucy and not a single thing that I’ve ever seen or witnessed of Lucy would let me for a moment believe she is capable of the things she’s accused of.
“It is the most out-of-character accusation that you could ever put against Lucy. Think of your most kind, gentle, soft friend and think that they’re being accused of harming babies.”
She claimed that authorities were “trying to build a case, to find someone culpable, to find someone to blame”.
While Letby claimed she had been the victim of a “conspiracy,” Letby’s defence attorney, Ben Myers KC, had contended that the fatalities had been caused by “sub-optimal” care provided at the hospital.
She acknowledged the ‘Gang of Four’ consultants who had “apportioned the blame onto her” while testifying.
Some of the nurses who worked with Letby at the Countess of Chester Hospital are finding it difficult to accept the jury’s verdict, a hospital source told The Sunday Times.
“There are still a small number of people on the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester who think she is innocent,” they said. “They are finding it difficult to believe she could have done it, because for so long they were fed the narrative that Letby was being blamed by consultants who were making excuses for their own mistakes.”
Several armchair investigators and amateur sleuths posted hypotheses about the case online during the trial, oftentimes flouting the rigorous reporting guidelines, leaving police and the legal system unhappy.
The verdict “may represent the greatest miscarriage of justice the UK has ever witnessed”, according to a US campaign to gather money for Letby’s appeal.
Donations are not yet open for ‘Science on Trial’, which states that its main aim is “to ensure that scientific evidence is used responsibly in the criminal justice system”.
Since her conviction, the hashtag #LucyLetbyInnocent has accumulated millions of views, likes and comments on TikTok, with many comparing the case to Amanda Knox and Dutch nurse Lucia de Berk. Both women were wrongfully convicted of murder before their sentences were overturned.
However, the jury saw little reason to question Letby’s culpability, and she was convicted on 14 of the 22 charges against her, making her the most prolific child serial murderer in UK history.