How Lucy Letby used a secret code to record the dates of her murders in a diary she kept in her bedroom
Lucy Letby used a secret code to record the dates of her horrific crimes in a diary she kept in her bedroom, police have revealed.
Detective Inspector Rob Woods said Britain’s most prolific child killer was a ‘copious writer of notes’, with dozens of Post-it notes and scraps of paper found in her Cheshire home.
Officers also uncovered her 2016 diary. Among jottings in coloured pens and childlike illustrations of animals were a series of asterisks that police believe referred to ‘significant events’.
Dates marked include June 23 and 24.
The first day was when she murdered Baby O, one of three triplets, while the second corresponded to her fatal attack on his brother, Baby P.
Lucy Letby used a ‘code’ to mark the dates of her crimes in a diary, police said. Dates marked include June 23 and 24. The first day was when she murdered Baby O, one of three triplets, while the second corresponded to her fatal attack on his brother, Baby P. The jury could not agree on a verdict relating to a charge of attempted murder for Baby Q. The marks in black were done by police, while the red circles were added by MailOnline
More LO marks on other pages of Letby’s diary. On April 9, Letby tried to murder twin brothers Baby L and Baby M
Detective Inspector Rob Woods, speaking in a documentary made by Cheshire Constabulary, said: ‘The amount of material we found at her home address was, I think, a massive surprise to us when she was first arrested.
‘It gave us a really good steer for the second occasion as to what sort of things we were looking for.
‘Something that’s been very useful to the enquiry has been Miss Letby’s diaries.
‘They appeared to be and it became clear later that it was almost a code of coloured asterisks and various other things put in a diary that marked significant events.’
DI Woods said it became apparent that the dates Letby highlighted were significant events related to her crimes.
The nurse unwittingly helped the police further by continuing to make notes even after she was arrested.
Detective Inspector Rob Woods said police were helped by the fact Letby (pictured) was a ‘copious writer of notes’
In one ‘confession’, Letby described herself as an ‘awful person’ before writing ‘I AM EVIL I DID THIS’
In other notes seized by police, Letby had written ‘hate my life’, ‘can’t do this anymore’ and ‘HELP’
‘We knew she was a copious writer of notes,’ DI Woods said. ‘Now we thought that perhaps having been arrested she might stop doing that.
READ MORE – Parents who say their daughter was one of the killer’s first victims recall chilling moment they found the nurse alone with their newborn
‘It turned out when we searched that second time, she had continued to write her thoughts and all sorts of processes about the investigation about the events that she was being investigated for.’
On one note, Letby wrote a ‘confession’ in which she described herself as a ‘horrible evil person’ and said: ‘I DID THIS.’
On the green Post-it, found inside the diary in her bedroom, she wrote: ‘I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough. I will never have children or marry or know what it’s like to have a family.’
Other strange and chaotic writings were also recovered from her handbag and garage.
She insisted that the green note was not evidence that she had killed and harmed the children, but that she had written it when she was ‘struggling’ mentally because she thought she could have made mistakes at work and had accidentally hurt the babies.
Last night handwriting expert Adam Brand, who analysed Letby’s notes, said her writing style was evidence of a ‘manipulative and dishonest’ individual
Mr Brand likened Letby to Jeffrey Dahmer, the US serial killer who murdered and dismembered 17 men over 13 years in Milwaukee, USA.
But the jury dismissed her claims and agreed with the prosecution that it should be read ‘literally.’
Adam Brand, who analysed Letby’s notes, said her writing style was evidence of a ‘manipulative and dishonest’ individual.
It comes as former executives at the Countess of Chester Hospital faced continued scrutiny over the way they dealt with complaints against Letby.
Today, a lawyer representing the parents of Letby’s victims said they had received a ‘total fob off’ from the hospital’s medical director after raising concerns.
Ian Harvey was medical director at the Countess of Chester Hospital at the time the 33-year-old nurse carried out her crimes, murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others, but he retired in August 2018, a month after she was first arrested.
Richard Scorer, from law firm Slater and Gordon which is representing two of the families, accused Mr Harvey of a ‘shameful’ failure to address parental concerns.
His claims come as the NHS ombudsman and former home secretary Jack Straw joined those calling for an inquiry into Letby’s crimes to be upgraded so witnesses could be compelled to attend.
More scrawled notes that Letby wrote during her killing spree
On other notes she wrote ‘I can’t do this anymore’ and ‘everything is manageable’
Mr Scorer said: ‘Our clients received a series of anodyne letters from Harvey containing no proper explanation or clarification.
‘The letters invited them to contact Harvey for more explanation and they tried to contact him repeatedly, but despite many attempts to get through to him they never received a return call.
‘Our clients have described his response as a ‘total fob off’.
‘It seems that Harvey had little interest in passing any meaningful information to the parents, responding properly to any of their concerns, or complying with any duty of candour to them.
‘In our view this failure to address parental concerns was shameful and another matter which needs to be investigated by a statutory inquiry with the power to compel witnesses and the production of documents.’
In a statement to the Guardian newspaper, Mr Harvey said: ‘Having read the heart-rending victim impact statements, I know how desperate the parents are for answers and I will help them as best I can at the inquiry.
Handwriting expert Adam Brand, who analysed Letby’s notes, said her writing style was evidence of a ‘manipulative and dishonest’ individual. In this, he breaks down what her writing represents
‘I’m sorry they felt fobbed off. I wanted to give detailed and accurate answers, but this was difficult while the reviews and investigations were taking place. Once the police were involved, we were advised by them not to say or do anything that might jeopardise their investigation.’
The Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Harvey was referred to the General Medical Council (GMC) in 2018 following allegations he ‘misled the public in media statements’, encouraged ‘an atmosphere of secrecy and fear’ and failed to act ‘appropriately or in a timely manner’ when consultants raised concerns.
Anthony Omo, director of fitness to practise and general counsel at the GMC, said: ‘In 2018 we received a complaint about Ian Harvey which we promoted for a full investigation. During our investigation, we liaised with the police, obtained an independent expert report and a witness statement, and thoroughly examined all relevant information.
‘At the conclusion of our investigation, our senior decision makers considered all of the evidence and decided that the case did not reach the threshold for referral to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service for a hearing.’
The hospital saw a significant rise in the number of babies suffering serious and unexpected collapses in 2015 and 2016.
Letby’s presence when collapses took place was first mentioned to senior management by the unit’s head consultant in late June 2015.
Concerns among some consultants about the defendant increased and were voiced to hospital bosses when more unexplained and unusual collapses followed, her trial at Manchester Crown Court heard.
But Letby was not removed from the unit until after the deaths of two triplet boys and the collapse of another baby boy on three successive days in June 2016.
Countess of Chester Hospital’s neo-natal unit, where Letby went on a killing spree
She was confined to clerical work but registered a grievance procedure, which was resolved in her favour, and was due to return to the unit in March 2017.
The move did not take place as soon after police were contacted by the hospital trust.
Today, former home secretary Jack Straw joined those calling for an inquiry into Letby’s crimes to be given a statutory footing, which would mean witnesses would be compelled to attend to give evidence.
He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘You can shame a lot of (witnesses) but you can’t shame them all, and there may be witnesses in the Letby case who really ought to be on the stand, who are the most vulnerable in terms of the positions they have taken, and who won’t be bothered about being shamed – they would rather be shamed for their absence than actually appear on the stand.’
In a letter, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Rob Behrens told Health Secretary Steve Barclay: ‘Only a statutory inquiry can provide the strong legal powers necessary to compel witnesses and the release of evidence.
‘The inquiry should have all possible levers available to it to get to the truth. The families involved deserve no less.’
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