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The Lucy Letby case has exposed a justice system that is failing victims

The trial of the country’s most prolific child killer has raised fundamental questions about how we prosecute criminals – only a radical overhaul of the system will deliver justice for all, writes former chief crown prosecutor Nazir Afzal

Wednesday 23 August 2023 19:59 BST
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If we want criminals like Lucy Letby to pay, let’s live-stream all trials
If we want criminals like Lucy Letby to pay, let’s live-stream all trials (Cheshire Police)

Trust is the battle of our age. Institutions need it to fulfil their duties, but they seem to expect it rather than earn it. It’s no coincidence that the NHS is run by local “trusts” – but that’s just a word without them relentlessly upholding it.

With that in mind, the revelations about the Countess of Chester Hospital Trust in relation to the serial child killer Lucy Letby and those who managed her will have a devastating impact on the ability of the local population to trust them.

The key issue is a lack of accountability. They appear to many to be above the law – nobody gets held responsible for failures. In fact, they often get promoted. There appears to be no regulation that applies to senior managers, the same way it does doctors and nursing staff.

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