We trusted Lucy Letby so much we wanted her to be our baby's godmother

We trusted Lucy Letby so much we wanted her to be our baby’s godmother. Now we think she tried to kill him

For the young couple she’d guided through the trauma of having a premature son, it seemed like the natural thing to do.

After all, neo-natal nurse Lucy Letby had been at the difficult birth of their baby and had done everything she could to help them cope with those first few terrifying hours and days.

She’d taken time to explain why the tot needed to go on a ventilator and spent hours chatting to his parents into the night, reassuring them and winning their confidence as they kept a vigil at their son’s cotside.

So, when the boy’s father suggested to his wife that they ask ‘nice’ Lucy to be their son’s godmother, it felt like the perfect way to repay the kind and considerate nurse who seemed to have ‘taken such a shine’ to him.

They had no idea that she was, at that point, in the middle of a killing spree that makes her Britain’s most prolific child killer.

Looking back, and following Letby’s convictions this week, his mother, who asked not to be named to protect the identity of her two young children, said that thought now ‘physically sickened’ her. 

A couple have said that they trusted Lucy Letby (pictured) so much that they almost made her her their baby’s godmother

This picture of the parents’ premature baby was taken by killer nurse Lucy Letby. They now believe she tried to kill their child

This photo was inside the heart card sent by Lucy Letby and given to the mother of a premature baby in care of Letby

The couple now suspect that their boy was attacked by Letby, who picked him out as one of her favourites, even getting angry with other nurses when she wasn’t allocated him to care for. Once, he was found with an unusual amount of blood in his nappy when Letby was looking after him. The doctors could find no real cause.

Another time, when the killer was his designated nurse, he suddenly collapsed inexplicably as she was about to hand him over to night staff. Fortunately, a doctor came to his aid and a senior nurse took over and he quickly recovered.

Letby also sent the tot’s mother a handmade Mother’s Day card with a polaroid photograph she had taken of their baby inside the incubator. Even though he was still requiring 24-hour oxygen, the image showed their son with no mask or oxygen tubes over his face. When the concerned parents queried this Letby dismissed their fears saying: ‘I just thought you would like a picture of him with no tubes.’

Letby’s murder trial heard her accused of tampering with breathing tubes and ramming medical equipment down tiny throats.

The boy’s father told the Mail: ‘We had a handmade card and we assumed everyone on the ward got one. But they didn’t, it was just us. Inside was a picture of my son with no breathing equipment. She said she took it out to clean or to sterilize it. Now everything’s come to light, I should have questioned it more.’

Eight months ago the couple had another premature baby boy who also needed breathing help. They now know that Letby should never have been taking oxygen away from their first born.

Later, when the infant was discharged, Letby asked to be friends with his mother on Facebook and commented on posts when he ended up back in hospital, asking if he was ‘needing any help with breathing?’. His mother added: ‘Now, that gives me chills.’

The 32-year-old, a student nurse, told the Mail she had an ‘awful’ pregnancy. She conceived twins, but lost one of the babies at eight weeks and began suffering from pre-eclampsia four weeks later.

Her son was born, weighing just 3lbs 2oz, nine weeks early by emergency C-section at the Countess of Chester Hospital in February 2016, nine months into Letby’s killing spree. She was at his birth – her third night shift in a run of four.

The previous night she allegedly tried to murder a baby girl by tampering with her breathing tube. The jury failed to reach a verdict in her case.

The couple’s boy was immediately put into the intensive care nursery on a ventilator. His mother was very poorly and on a high dependency ward. She couldn’t visit for 48 hours.

But her husband, a 33-year-old engineer, immediately went to see their newborn. Letby was looking after him and, over the next few days, was always on hand.

‘I’ve got to be honest, she was nice,’ the father said. ‘She couldn’t seem to do enough for us.’

The mother added: ‘It seemed every single shift that Lucy was on duty she wanted my son, she named him as her favourite, she said that quite a few times.

‘She was there day and night, we’d have long conversations with her, especially at night when it was quiet. She’d talk about her house, she talked about her parents a lot, she really thought the world of them, her cats, going out with other nurses socialising… I came to think of her as a friend.’

The couple were not able to hold their son until he was seven days old. Letby was the nurse who lifted him out of his incubator and passed him to them that first time. Her picture of the happy moment is on display in the couple’s living room.

In a video taken in his first few days, Letby can also be heard cooing over their son. Shortly afterwards, Letby told them he had been found with a large amount of blood in his nappy. The little boy’s mother said: ‘They did tests and couldn’t find a reason for the blood.’

Letby was given a whole-life order for the murder of seven babies and attempted murder of six others

Letby at the Countess of Chester Hospital in 2012 – three years before she embarked on a sadistic spree of infanticide

The Countess of Chester Hospital, where Lucy Letby worked on the neonatal unit and killed seven babies. She also tried to murder another six

Mr Justice Goss handed Letby a whole-life term, saying that she acted ‘completely contrary to the normal human instincts of nurturing and caring for babies’

On another occasion Letby was furious when she came to work and another nurse – who gave evidence during the trial – had been allocated to their son, they said. ‘When we arrived one of the nurses who was looking after him that night came to us and said ‘Gosh I can’t believe how annoyed Lucy is that she hasn’t got your son tonight’.

‘She said Lucy had asked her four or five times if she would swap but thankfully this nurse refused. At the time I thought, that’s lovely that people are fighting over him. Looking back we were very, very lucky that she didn’t have him that night.’ The tot’s father added: ‘He always seemed to have big dips when she was looking after him,’ he added. ‘Every time [he improved] she was this miracle worker who kept saving him.’

At the end of March 2016, after around five weeks on the unit, their son was well enough to be discharged. Shortly afterwards Letby asked to be friends with the mother on Facebook.

When she put up a post explaining that her son had needed to be admitted to a specialist hospital following an infection, Letby commented and sent messages of support. The boy’s father thought Letby had been so kind to them that he asked his wife if they should make her their son’s godmother.

Police searches uncovered a trove of grim mementoes Letby kept from her victims – and a Post-It note reading: ‘I am evil, I did this’

‘When he was in the hospital she couldn’t do enough for us,’ he said. ‘She kept in contact, I thought she was taking a real interest in his life, so I thought, why not include her in his life?’

In the end, his mother decided a family member would be more appropriate.

Neither of them, however, suspected Letby of any wrong-doing and when her face flashed up on the news at the time of her arrest in July 2018, the mother said she was astounded. Asked what she thought about Letby, the mother said: ‘It just really sickens me. She was so manipulative with us, so nice, kind and caring. I’ve got mixed emotions. It would be easier to really, really hate her if she hadn’t been like that.’

Like so many of the parents of babies involved in the case, the couple have been left with serious trust issues and feel overprotective towards their children.

She said she had been in touch with police over the past few days and had been reassured officers were continuing to look into their case. Her husband said: ‘I hope for clarification, just a definite answer. Did she do something [to my son] or not?’

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