Lucy Letby, British nurse, charged with murder of eight babies in her care

A British nurse has been charged with the murder of eight babies, as well as the attempted murder of 10 more, after a years-long investigation into an unexplained spike in baby deaths in a hospital’s neonatal unit.

This is the third time that Lucy Letby, 30, has been arrested. She had previously been detained in 2018 and 2019 as authorities investigated the spate of child deaths at Countess of Chester Hospital in England. Both times, the nurse was released without further action against her, but she appeared in court on Thursday to ultimately face 18 formal charges.

In the courtroom, the nurse learned that she was facing eight counts of “murdering a victim under the age of one”, and the name of each child victim was read to her. high voice. According to BBC News, five baby boys and three girls have died. They were called Cemlyn Bennett, Joseph Johnson, Barney Gee, Joseph Gelder, Eli Gelder, Elsie McNall, Daisy Parkin and Maddie Freed.

Letby only spoke in court to confirm her identity and her representatives have not said whether she will plead guilty or not. The media have been ordered not to release the names of the alleged victims of attempted murder, but there are believed to be five boys and five girls.

The charges all relate to a series of infant deaths and non-fatal collapses at the Countess of Chester Hospital near Liverpool in 2015 and 2016. According to a National Health Service report into the incidents, the hospital launched an investigation after that medical residents have become concerned about what has been described as a “higher than usual number of neonatal deaths on the unit, several of which seemingly ‘unexplained’ and ‘unexpected’.”

The police intervened a year later. This week, the head of the investigation, Chief Inspector Paul Hughes, said Letby’s third arrest came after more than three years of investigative work by his team.

Susan Gilby, executive director of the hospital where Letby is accused of committing the crimes, said in a statement that the major development was “of serious concern” and added that the confidence that runs the hospital will be “fully supportive and respectful of justice. process. “

Neil Fern, who represents some of the families in the court case, said The Guardian: “Families are overwhelmed by the news and there is a mixture of emotion. All families now have the hope that they can finally begin to learn the truth about what happened in the first days of their children’s lives. We have worked with families for many years on these cases and they have had to live with the consequences during this time.

Letby is expected to make another court appearance on Friday.

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