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Lucy Letby judge says he will accept majority verdicts in baby murder trial

Jurors have been deliberating for 15 days after a nine month trial

Holly Evans
Wednesday 09 August 2023 07:47 BST
Lucy Letby: Who is she and why is she on trial?

The judge in the trial of nurse Lucy Letby has ruled that jurors can return majority verdicts.

Ms Letby is accused of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill 10 others at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

Following nine months of evidence, a jury of seven women and four men have been deliberating for 15 days.

Over the course of the trial, they heard claims that Ms Letby had deliberately injected babies with air, injected some with insulin and overfed others with milk.

Judge Mr Justice James Goss said the new directions mean the jury will have to agree by 10-1 on any counts that are not unanimous.

Addressing the jury at Manchester Crown Court, Mr Justice Goss said: “I am going to ask you to return to your deliberating room and continue with your deliberations and strive to reach unanimous verdicts.

“However, the time has now come when it is possible for me to accept verdicts upon which you are not all agreed, commonly referred to as majority verdicts.

“It must be by a majority of at least 10 of you, either 11-0 or 10-1. Nothing else will do.”

A 12th juror was unable to continue and was discharged last week for “good personal reasons”.

Thanking the juror for their attendance during the trial over the past 10 months, the judge said he was sorry they were unable to continue.

“I imagine it must be slightly frustrating for you,” he added.

Ms Letby, originally from Hereford, has denied all 22 charges against her and has claimed she is the victim of a “conspiracy” by surgeons to cover up hospital failings.

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