UPDATE January 2022: Letby appeared at Chester Crown Court via video link from prison this week ahead of her trial at Manchester Crown Court, set to begin on October 4 and expected to last about six months. She is expected to plead not guilty to all charges.
A British nurse has been arrested on suspicion of killing eight babies and attempting to kill 10 more while working in the neonatal unit at Countess of Chester Hospital in Cheshire. Lucy Letby, 30, had been arrested twice previously on suspicion of the crimes as part of an ongoing investigation into the above-average death rates in the department between March 2015 and June 2016. However, it seems authorities may finally be closing in on some concrete evidence linking Letby to the crimes.
- The investigation began back in 2017. The hospital first alerted authorities to irregularities in the death rates in Countess of Chester’s neonatal unit three years ago, as nearly 10% more deaths occurred on average during the period in question. Medics had discovered during an internal investigation that premature babies were dying of heart and lung failure at extremely high rates, prompting them to contact police.
- Letby’s friends stood by her for years. While she was arrested twice previously in relation to the crimes, police were never able to charge her and her friends and family, who described her as “awkward but kind-hearted,” insisted that she was innocent. She was ultimately released on bail on both occasions before being re-arrested on Tuesday, November 10.
- It looks like Letby may finally face justice for her alleged crimes. “The Crown Prosecution Service has authorized Cheshire Police to charge a healthcare professional with murder in connection with an ongoing investigation into a number of baby deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital,” said a police force spokesperson in a statement. “Lucy Letby, of Arran Avenue, Hereford, is facing eight charges of murder and 10 charges of attempted murder. The charges relate to the period of June 2015 to June 2016.”
- There’s so much to discover about this tragic case. Perhaps the most important question is that if she did indeed kill all these poor, innocent babies, why? What drives someone to commit such horrific crimes against children? We may never find out the answer, but if Letby has done these things, she needs to pay for it.