Lucy Letby: Killer neonatal nurse accused of murdering 7 babies set to go on trial

Charges against Letby allege that the nurse killed five boys and two girls and attempted to murder five boys and five girls between June 2015 and June 2016

Lucy Letby: Killer neonatal nurse accused of murdering 7 babies set to go on trial
Hereford native Lucy Letby worked as a neonatal nurse at Chester Hospital in England, United Kingdom (Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust)
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CHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM: On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, a nurse who is accused of killing several babies will go on trial. Charges against Lucy Letby, 32, allege that the nurse killed five boys and two girls and attempted to murder five boys and five girls between June 2015 and June 2016. The Hereford native worked as a children's neonatal nurse at Chester Hospital's Counter. She received her nursing degree from Chester University in 2011. She began working at Liverpool Women's Hospital after graduating.

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Letby was detained in 2018 on accusations of killing eight infants while she was employed at the Chester Hospital. In June 2019, she was detained once more in connection with the attempted murder of three more infants. Letby was apprehended another time in November 2020 and accused of seven murders and ten attempted murders. In May 2017, police opened an investigation into the Countess of Chester Hospital's neonatal section. As a result of the significant number of fatalities that occurred between March 2015 and July 2016, the hospital trust itself raised the alert.

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The hospital's infant mortality rate was 10 percent higher than the standard for maternity units. Medics launched an internal inquiry after finding the premature babies had collapsed with heart and lung failure and were unusually impossible to resuscitate. After the babies' deaths, weird blotches appeared on their arms and legs, according to The New York Times. Following her re-arrest in 2019, the investigation's lead detective inspector, Paul Hughes, said, "In July 2018 a healthcare professional was arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital.”

"She was subsequently bailed pending further inquiries. As part of our ongoing investigation, we have rearrested the healthcare professional on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies. She has also been arrested in connection with the attempted murder of three additional babies. The woman is currently in custody helping officers with their inquiries,” Hughes added.

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Hughes said the investigation was "extremely challenging" and that parents of all the babies were being kept fully up to date.

Following Letby's most recent arrest, Hughes said to The Telegraph, "It has been more than three years since we first launched an investigation into a number of baby deaths and non-fatal collapses at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital. In that time a dedicated team of detectives has been working extremely hard on this highly complex and very sensitive case doing everything they can as quickly as they can to identify what has led to these baby deaths and collapses.”

"In July 2018, a healthcare professional was arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital. She was subsequently bailed pending further inquiries. In June 2019, the healthcare professional was rearrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies. She was also arrested in connection with the attempted murder of three additional babies. Today [November 10], as part of our ongoing inquiries, the healthcare professional has been rearrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of nine babies. The woman is currently in custody helping officers with their inquiries,” Hughes remarked.

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Letby, however, has denied all the allegations against her.

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