Paediatrician Dewi Evans, who gave evidence in court against the neo-natal nurse, claims he had concerns children who were not part of the prosecution’s case had their breathing tubes tampered with and suggested that at least one could have been poisoned with insulin.
Letby, 33, was sentenced to a whole life order last month after jurors convicted her of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit in 2015 and 2016.
The 33-year-old was found guilty of deliberately injected infants with air or poisoned them with insulin. Other babies, some of whom had been born prematurely or had health issues, were harmed by being fed excessive amounts of milk, while one was physically assaulted.
Following Letby’s arrest in July 2018, Dr Evans said he was asked to review the notes of babies who were not part of the trial. He told the Daily Mail’s Trial of Lucy Letby podcast: “Initially, I looked at 32 cases and there are seven of those [which were not part of the trial] that need more scrutiny.
“These babies had illnesses that were life-threatening and three of them died – but we need to look at them to see if they were placed in harm's way as well. They were poorly so it may be impossible to show beyond reasonable doubt whether they were the victim of inflicted harm.
“But there are seven cases that concern me which we need to look at more thoroughly. I will be liaising with Cheshire Police to bring those cases to their attention.”
Dr Evans went on to speak of finding “up to ten babies who were placed in harm’s way”.
“They go back to 2012, although most date back to June 2014 – 12 months prior to the first fatality,” he said.
“I found several cases that are highly suspicious where an endotracheal tube – placed in a baby's throat when they need breathing support – had been displaced, had come out. These tubes can come out accidentally, but for so many to come out is very, very unusual, especially in what I consider to be a good unit.
“I suspect these tubes were displaced intentionally. Of the 18, there could be up to ten babies who were placed in harm's way. As far as I know, they survived without suffering any long-term harm.”
Dr Evans added that he had suspicions Letby could have poisoned at least one other baby, whose notes detailed that he had a high insulin level, around November 2015.
Cheshire Police are continuing to review the care of some 4,000 babies admitted to hospital while Letby was working as a neonatal nurse. The period covers her spell at the Countess of Chester Hospital from January 2012 to the end of June 2016, and includes two work placements at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in 2012 and 2015.
The investigation, code-named Operation Hummingbird, is ongoing, and detectives have not ruled out the possibility that Letby could be charged with more crimes.
Letby last week launched a Court of Appeal bid to challenge her convictions.