Lucy Letby to face retrial on charge of trying to murder baby girl, court told

Former nurse, convicted of murdering seven babies at Countess of Chester hospital, will be retried in June 2024

Lucy Letby will face a retrial on a charge of attempting to murder a newborn baby girl, a court has been told.

The former nurse, 33, was found guilty in August of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill a further six at the Countess of Chester hospital in north-west England.

The jury were unable to reach verdicts on a further six counts of attempted murder, relating to three newborn girls and two baby boys. She was accused of twice trying to kill one of the babies.

Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC told Manchester crown court on Monday that the prosecution would retry Letby on one of those allegations – the attempted murder of a baby girl in February 2016 – but not on the remaining counts.

Mr Justice Goss KC said the first available date for a new trial was 10 June 2024 due to the “huge backlog of cases” in the courts.

Nevertheless, he said any new trial should not take place before judges had decided whether to give Letby permission to appeal against the convictions from her first trial.

Letby will spend the rest of her life in prison after being sentenced to multiple whole-life terms – one for each offence – becoming only the fourth woman in UK history to receive such a sentence.

Letby, who refused to attend her sentencing and the final days of her trial, watched the proceedings via a video-link to a conference room at HMP New Hall, near Wakefield in West Yorkshire. She confirmed her name to the court and that she could hear the legal discussions.

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.”

Afterwards, Jonathan Storer, the 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.”


Josh Halliday North of England correspondent

The GuardianTramp