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Indian-Origin Doctor Had Raised Alarm About UK Nurse Accused of Killing 7 Babies

Ravi Jayaram said that some lives could have been saved if his concerns about Lucy Letby had been heeded sooner.

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A UK-born Indian-origin paediatrician is among those who had raised concerns and helped convict a nurse found guilty of murdering seven babies by a court on Friday, 18 August.

Ravi Jayaram of the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester said that some lives could have been saved if his concerns about former nurse Lucy Letby had been heeded sooner.

"I do genuinely believe that there are four or five babies who could be going to school now who aren't," Jayaram was quoted as saying by ITV News after the verdict.

What's the case? Letby, 33, was on Friday found guilty of killing seven newborn babies when she was a nurse at the hospital. She was also found guilty of seven counts of attempted murder of six other babies. Her sentence will be announced by the Manchester Crown Court on Monday.

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When were suspicious raised? Jayaram said that colleagues first started raising concerns after three babies died in June 2015. As more babies continued to die, senior medical professionals like him held several meetings with top hospital executives and raised concerns about Letby.

Finally, in April 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) trust allowed the doctors to meet a police official.

"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," Jayaram said.

An investigation into the case was launched shortly afterwards that eventually led to the nurse's arrest.

The trial: Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) told the court that Letby used several methods to try to kill 13 babies in total in the neonatal ward of the hospital between 2015 and 2016.

Some of these methods included using an injection of air and insulin to put into the bloodstream, infusion of air into the gastrointestinal tract, force-feeding milk or other fluids, and impact-type trauma.
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The prosecution told the jury that her intention was to kill the babies but make her colleagues believe that they died due to natural causes.

"Lucy Letby sought to deceive her colleagues and pass off the harm she caused as nothing more than a worsening of each baby's existing vulnerability. In her hands, innocuous substances like air, milk, fluids – or medication like insulin – would become lethal. She perverted her learning and weaponised her craft to inflict harm, grief and death," Pascale Jones, representing the prosecution, said.

Letby was first arrested in July 2018 and charged in November 2020.

Among the overwhelming evidence collected to prosecute Letby, several handwritten notes were found during the investigation. They included phrases like, "I killed them on purpose because I'm not good enough to care for them"; "I am evil I did this"; today is your birthday and you are not here and I am so sorry for that."

(With inputs from ITV News and PTI.)

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Topics:  UK   Indian Origin   South Asians 

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