British children’s nurse Lucy Letby first arrested by Cheshire Police back in 2018 over deaths at hospital appeared in court Wednesday morning
Letby appeared via video link at Warrington Magistrates’ Court, from Blacon Police Station in Chester where she is being held on 18 counts of murder related-charges
Letby, 30, is accused of the murder of eight babies and the attempted murders of another 10 infants
Names of the young victims of the 30-year-old care giver were released named for the first time as she appeared before a magistrates court via video link on Wednesday morning
Letby was arrested in 2017 after in court after probe into spike in heart and lung failure deaths at neo-natal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospeyal in Chester, UK
Between 2015 and 2016 the infany mortality rate was deemed 10 percent above average
A children’s nurse appeared in a UK court on Tuesday night charged with the murders of eight babies and the attempted murder of ten infants.
Lucy Letby, 30, faced 18 counts of murder related charges following her arrest for the third time since 2018.
The eight babies allegedly murdered by the nurse, all under 12 months in age, were named in court as; Cemlyn Bennett, Joseph Johnson, Elsie McNall, Barney Gee, Daisy Parkin, Maddie Freed, and twin brothers, Joseph Gelder and Eli Gelder who died one day apart.
Nine of the ten victims of the attempted murder charges – five boys and five girls – cannot be named for legal reasons.
The alleged murders prosecutors said, happened between 2015 and 2016 following an investigation into rising infant deaths in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, UK.
Letby was first detained by Cheshire Police back in 2018 after a spike in the number of deaths at the hospital.
Letby, 30, appeared via video link at Warrington Magistrates’ Court, from Blacon Police Station in Chester where she is being held over the 18 charges, and spoke to confirm her name, age and address.
She was remanded in custody ahead of a hearing at Chester Crown Court Wednesday. Families of the alleged victims also followed the proceedings via a video link from remote locations.
At one point in her career the defendant was seen as a model of nursing care. She once was once the face of a $39.3million [£3million] fundraising campaign and had also worked at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
It all came crashing down after she was re-arrested over the same alleged offenses in 2019 and again earlier this week.Police had launched an investigation after the hospital raised concerns at the high number of deaths between March 2015 and July 2016 – which were said to be 10 per cent above average.
An internal inquiry found that babies born prematurely had died following heart and lung failure, but were unusually impossible to resuscitate.
The details of Lucy Letby’s alleged victims were released by the court, including the dates on which she allegedly committed the heinuous crimes.
Also listing for the 10 charges of attempted murder showed that each of potential victims was a year old,.
The prosecution said one count of attempted murder would be upgraded because othe victim, Maddie Freed, died some time after being taken away from the Countess of Chester Hospital’.
According to the prosecution Letby’s first victim was Cemlyn Bennett, who died on June 8, 2015.
Between June 8 and 11, Letby is accused of trying to kill another unnamed baby, before murdering Joseph Johnson between June 12 and 15.
Elsie McNall was killed on June 22, while Barney Gee died in August 2015.
Between September 6 and June 25, 2016, Letby is alleged to have amade ttempts ton the lives of another nine infants.
She is charged with the attempted murder of Maddie Freed on February 17, and her murder on February 20, 2016.
Daisy Parkin was murdered in October 2015, and brothers Joseph Gelder and his brother Eli died one day apart in 2016, on June 23 and 24 respectively, the court was told.
Speaking after Letby was arrested earlier this week, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes from Cheshire Police said: ‘It has been more than three years since we first launched an investigation into a number of baby deaths and non-fatal collapses at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital.
‘In that time a dedicated team of detectives have been working extremely hard on this highly complex and very sensitive case doing everything they can as quickly as they can to identify what has led to these baby deaths and collapses.
Police were called in by the hospital in May 2017 after a 2016 report from the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health found staffing at the unit was inadequate.
Although the review could not find a reason for the increase in baby deaths between June 2015 and June 2016, it identified a string of concerns.
These included significant gaps in medical and nursing rotas, insufficient senior doctor cover, poor decision making and a reluctance by some staff to seek advice from colleagues.
Two babies died on the unit in 2013 and three in 2014, but mortality rates jumped to eight deaths in 2015 and by June 2016, five babies had already died that year.
The increased infant mortality rate prompted the hospital to stop caring for babies born before 32 weeks and to close its three intensive care cribs.
Following her firs arrests, Letby’s home in the Blacon area of Chester was searched by police, as was her parents’ in Hereford.
Attorney Robyn Smith, who is representing two of the families, said: ‘Our clients are relieved that we are one step closer to getting the answers they have long-since been waiting for.
‘We await the outcome of the criminal proceedings and will of course be supporting our clients through this traumatic process.’