The names of eight tragic babies were revealed for the first time as a nurse appeared in court accused of killing them and attempting to kill nine others.
Lucy Letby, 30, was arrested for a third time on Tuesday after a three-year investigation into the deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit.
She appeared at Warrington Magistrate’s Court accused of eight counts of murder and ten counts of attempted murder.
The charges relate to seventeen babies aged under one, with one alleged victim falling under both murder and attempted murder.
The crimes allegedly took place between June 2015 and June 2016.
Lucy Letby communicated only to verify her name, date of birth and address where she appeared via video link.
The names of the eight alleged victims were released by the court.
Lucy Letby was remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at Chester Crown Court.
Police launched an investigation after the hospital raised concerns at the increased number of deaths between March 2015 and July 2016, which were said to be 10 per cent above average.
An internal investigation was launched when doctors found premature babies had died following heart and lung failure, and Lucy Letby’s friends and family said at the time they were adamant the awkward but kind-hearted neonatal nurse was blameless.
A force spokesman said that the Crown Prosecution Service had allowed Cheshire Police to charge a healthcare professional with murder in connection with an ongoing investigation into several baby deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
Lucy Letby, of Hereford, is facing eight charges of murder and 10 charges of attempted murder and on Tuesday, police said the parents of all the babies involved were being kept fully updated on developments and were being supported by the police.
Lucy Letby was arrested by police in 2018 and again in 2019 but was bailed pending further investigations and following her earlier arrests, her home in the Blacon area of Chester was probed by police.
In a 2013 interview with the Chester and District Standard newspaper, the nurse said she cared for babies needing different levels of support.
She had worked at the unit as a student nurse during three years of training before qualifying as a children’s nurse at the University of Chester in 2011.
Lucy Letby said she began working at the unit after graduating.
The police said that specially trained officers were working with the babies families after Lucy Letby’s re-arrest.
This will, of course, be a difficult case to listen to as a member of the jury and we’ll have to wait for the trial outcome to see if she’s guilty or not, but if she is found guilty, then we’ve not learnt any lessons from the likes of Harold Shipman and others.
A neonatal ward has seriously sick and premature babies with complications at birth, some leading to underdeveloped lungs and are starved of oxygen.
Maybe this lady has been made a scapegoat for a cover-up of the hospital’s failings, yet the press has gone and plastered her name and face all over the tabloids as the face of a baby killer, perhaps taking away everything she’s worked for, and if she is blameless and I’m not saying that she is, this will have destroyed her life permanently.
And it does seem a tad suspicious – arrested last year and the year before, yet nothing came of it – strange!
Although people can be arrested numerous times before being able to charge them – it’s all to do with the amount of evidence they’ve collected and if it’s enough to press charges.
Interviews usually provide further information to support that evidence, particularly when they’re arrested so far apart because it’s difficult for a liar to keep track of everything they say in detail.