United Kingdom

Children's nurse, 31, appears in court accused of murdering eight babies at a hospital neonatal unit

A nurse accused of murdering eight babies in an alleged 'year-long killing spree' at a hospital neonatal unit in Chester has appeared in court. 

Lucy Letby, 31, appeared at Manchester Crown Court for a case management hearing via videolink from HMP Peterborough.

Letby, originally from Hereford, is alleged to have murdered five baby boys and three baby girls while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital. 

Lucy Letby, 31, was charged with eight counts of murder and nine counts of attempted murder

The Chester University graduate, who was once the face of a £3million fundraising campaign, is also accused of the attempted murder of five baby boys and five baby girls between June 2015 and June 2016. 

She was arrested in 2018 and 2019 as part of a police investigation at the hospital, which was launched in 2017.    

Police launched the investigation after the hospital raised concerns at the high number of deaths between March 2015 and July 2016 - which were said to be 10 per cent above average.

Letby appeared before Manchester Crown Court for a case management hearing on Monday 

An internal inquiry was undertaken when medics found premature babies had died following heart and lung failure, but were unusually impossible to resuscitate.

Letby appeared before Mr Justice Dove at the brief hearing on Monday wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans. She spoke only to confirm her name and that she was able to hear the proceedings.  

A provisional date for her trial has been set for January 11 next year, but there is a possibility that this could be delayed. 

A police car outside the Women and Children's Building at the Countess of Chester hospital

The matter will be before the court again on May 17 in a further case management hearing. 

Letby has yet to enter any pleas. 

She remains in custody.  

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