Convicted Nurse Killer Faces Retrial for Attempted Infant Murder

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Lucy Letby, a former nurse, and convicted serial killer, is to face a retrial on an outstanding allegation of attempted murder of an infant. Letby, 33, was previously issued a whole life order, after being found guilty of the murder of seven infants and attempted murder of six additional young patients at the Countess of Chester Hospital during the years 2015 and 2016.

However, the jury at Manchester Crown Court failed to reach a decision on six counts of attempted murder, leaving some charges unresolved. A tentative date of June 10, 2024, has been set for the trial at the same venue.

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Letby, originally from Hereford, and employed at the time as a neonatal nurse, participated in the hour-long hearing from a conference room at HMP New Hall in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, via videolink. Throughout the proceedings, she was seated behind a desk, speaking only to affirm her identity and acknowledge her ability to hear and see the unfolding events.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced its intention to purse a retrial on the unresolved charge, which involves an alleged attempt by Letby to murder an infant, referred to as Baby K, in February 2016. The prosecution clarified that it is not seeking a retrial on the remaining unfounded allegations involving the attempted murder of four other infants.

The retrial is expected to last approximately three weeks. Letby’s counsel informed the court that she continues to declare her innocence against all charges, despite her previous acquittal on two counts of attempted murder by the jury. An appeal against her convictions was lodged at the Court of Appeal earlier this calendar month.

Jonathan Storer, Chief Crown Prosecutor, shed light on the complicated decision-making process regarding whether to pursue retrials, elucidating that these cases are “extremely complex and difficult.” The voices of the affected families, law enforcement, and the legal counsel were taken into account prior to finalizing this decision to pursue a retrial. The impact of the evidence presented at the preceding trial on the legal justification for proceeding with the charges was also carefully weighed in.

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