Lucy Letby: Nurse to face retrial on allegation she tried to murder baby girl
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Nurse Lucy Letby will face a retrial on an outstanding allegation she attempted to murder a baby girl.
Letby, 33, was sentenced to a whole life order after she was convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others 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.
On Monday, the Crown Prosecution Service 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.
A provisional trial date of June 10 2024 at the same court has been fixed, with an estimated length of two to three weeks.
Letby attended the hearing via videolink from a conference room at HMP New Hall in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
She sat behind a desk, wearing a blue jacket, and spoke only to confirm her name and that she could see and hear the proceedings.
Nicholas Johnson KC, prosecuting, confirmed the Crown wished to pursue a retrial on the single count but not the other five outstanding allegations.
The jury of seven women and four men in Letby’s 10-month trial could not reach verdicts on claims she 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 Child N, a baby boy, and an allegation she tried to murder another male infant, Child Q.
Letby was found guilty of one count of attempted murder against Child N.
The defendant, from Hereford, denied all the offences and formally lodged an appeal against her convictions at the Court of Appeal earlier this month.
A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children who were the subject of the allegations.
Tamlin Bolton, of law firm Switalskis, which represents seven families, said: “At Switalskis, 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.”
Jonathan Storer, Chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS Mersey-Cheshire, 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.”