Lucy Letby to face retrial on attempted murder charge

Retrial concerns baby girl, known as Child K, who died in February 2016
Lucy Letby

Retrial concerns baby girl, known as Child K, who died in February 2016

Lucy Letby. Picture: Police handout

Lucy Letby will face a retrial on a charge of attempting to murder a baby girl.

Letby was sentenced to a whole-life order in August after she was convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others while working as a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit in 2015 and 2016.

However, the jury in her trial at Manchester Crown Court was unable to reach verdicts last month on six counts of attempted murder in relation to five children.

Retrial details

On 25 September, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it wanted to pursue a retrial at the same court on one of the outstanding charges – that Letby attempted to murder a baby girl, known as Child K, in February 2016.

Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC told the court it was the only count that they would be seeking a retrial on.

The jury could not reach verdicts on claims that Letby attempted to murder three baby girls, Child H, Child J and Child K.

Verdicts were also not reached on two counts of attempted murder against two baby boys known as Child N and Child Q.

Letby was found guilty of one count of attempted murder against Child N.

A provisional trial date of 10 June 2024 at the same court has been fixed, with an estimated length of two to three weeks.

Wide range of views sought before retrials

CPS Mersey-Cheshire's chief crown prosecutor Jonathan Storer said: ‘These decisions on whether to seek retrials on the remaining counts of attempted murder were extremely complex and difficult. Before reaching our conclusions we listened carefully to the views of the families affected, police and prosecution counsel.

‘Many competing factors were considered including the evidence heard by the court during the long trial and its impact on our legal test for proceeding with a prosecution. We have met with all the families affected by these decisions to explain how they were reached.’

Letby hears about retrial from prison

Letby attended the hearing today via videolink from a conference room at HMP New Hall in West Yorkshire.

She sat behind a desk and spoke only to confirm her name and that she could see and hear the proceedings.

Tamlin Bolton, of Switalskis law firm which represents seven families seeking civil claims against the Countess of Chester Hospital, said: ‘We are disappointed with the CPS decision to not proceed with a retrial on all of the cases.

‘We believe that the families of the further alleged victims still have questions that are unanswered and they deserve to know what happened to their children.

‘On the back of the CPS decision, those families will need to pursue other channels to get the answers.’

Letby appeals conviction

Letby is in the process of appealing her conviction, after the Court of Appeal confirmed it had received an application from her lawyers earlier in September.

The government has also announced a statutory inquiry into the crimes.

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