Nurse charged with murder of 8 babies – attempted murder of 10 more 

A British nurse has been charged with eight counts of murder and 10 counts of attempted murder in relation to baby deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital. 

Police say children’s nurse Lucy Letby was originally arrested and questioned over the killing of the babies in 2018, but was released. After further investigation she was re-arrested and charged yesterday.

Ms Letby, 30, is a children’s nurse, who graduated with a nursing degree from Chester University in 2011. She then worked for a period at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, before taking a position at Chester Hospital.

The hospital had launched an internal inquiry into the high number of baby deaths in the neo-natal unit between March 2015 and July 2016.

The inquiry found premature babies had collapsed with heart and lung failure but were unusually impossible to resuscitate, and that the babies had developed strange blotches on their arms and legs after death. The cause of death could not be determined.

The nurse was previously rearrested in 2019, and at that time 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 enquiries.”

“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 attempted murder charges have now been extended to ten babies.

Police said the investigation was “extremely challenging” and that it was a “highly complex” and “very sensitive case”.

Det Insp Hughes said: “This is an extremely difficult time for all the families and it is important to remember that, at the heart of this, there are a number of bereaved families seeking answers as to what happened to their children.”

 

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