Lucy Letby: Nurse pleads not guilty to murder of eight babies

Judge remands 31-year-old in custody, setting trial date for a year’s time

Celine Wadhera
Monday 04 October 2021 18:19 BST
Police search home of Lucy Letby after eight babies murdered at Countess of Chester Hospital
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A nurse has pleaded not guilty to the murder of eight babies and the attempted murder of 10 others.

Appearing at Manchester Crown Court via videolink from HMP Peterborough, Lucy Letby repeated the words “not guilty” 18 times as charges were read. After entering her pleas, the 31-year-old, who wore a dark blue top and had her hair in a ponytail, sat listening to the remainder of the 30-minute hearing, which consisted mainly of administrative matters.

While working in the neonatal unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, Ms Letby is alleged to have murdered five boys and three girls. She is also accused of the attempted murder of five boys and five girls.

All offences were said to have been committed between June 2015 and June 2016.

In May 2017, detectives launched an investigation into infant deaths at the hospital, initially looking into the deaths of 15 babies over 12 months from June 2015.

The Countess of Chester Hospital, where Lucy Letby worked
The Countess of Chester Hospital, where Lucy Letby worked (Getty Images)

Reporting restrictions remained in place, prohibiting the naming of the alleged victims and those she is accused of attempting to kill.

Ms Letby, of Arran Avenue, Hereford, was remanded in custody by Mr Justice Goss, who set a trial date of 4 October 2022, at Manchester Crown Court, which is expected to last up to six months.

A further pre-trial hearing will be held in January.

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