Nurse found guilty of murdering seven babies

Lucy Letby

Lucy Letby is due to be sentenced next week

Lucy Letby has been found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to murder six others while working as a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

The verdicts confirm the 33-year-old from Hereford as Britain’s worst serial baby killer.

Letby was convicted of murdering five baby boys and two baby girls during a year-long killing spree between June 2015 and June 2016.

During the same period, she also attacked and tried to kill four boys and two girls using a variety of different methods.

Among her murder victims were two babies from a set of identical triplets. She also attacked three sets of twins.

The jury, made up of four men and seven women, spent more than 100 hours deliberating, and delivered their verdicts to the 22 charges in batches that could not be reported until now.

Her crimes mean Letby is likely to spend the rest of her life in prison.

She is due to be sentenced next week.

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Quiet ‘geek’ who became a killer feared she’d never have children of her own

Lucy Letby

Lucy Letby

To some, she was a quiet, geeky student. To her friends, the one who loved to salsa. To her family, she seemed the devoted daughter – and to many of her patients, she appeared to be a dedicated, caring nurse.

There were many sides to Lucy Letby, but few who met her would have put her down as a conniving and manipulative murderer, let alone one of Britain’s worst serial killers.

Read more here

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Parents of twins: Letby became angry when she failed to kill our babies

Read more on this story here

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Police fear there could be more victims

Cheshire Police have already said they believe Letby may be responsible for other attacks and detectives are currently pursuing a number of active investigations.

As part of their work they are reviewing all 4,000 admissions of babies into neonatal units at the two hospitals where Letby worked between 2012 and 2016, the Countess of Chester and Liverpool Women’s Hospital

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Watch: The moment Letby is arrested

Letby being arrested

Letby being arrested

Detectives have released footage of the moment Letby was first arrested on suspicion of being the most prolific child killer in British history.

Cheshire Police knocked on the neonatal nurse’s door just after 6am on July 3, 2018 in a moment Letby would later describe as “traumatic” to try to gain sympathy from jurors.

See the video here

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Jury deliberated for over 100 hours

The jury had spent a total of 110 hours and 26 minutes deliberating their decisions, after which the judge released them from having to perform jury service ever again.

Mr Justice James Goss thanked the jury for their long and careful work, telling them: “This has been a most distressing and upsetting case. I want to thank you for the way you have fulfilled your jury service in this case. Jury service is the most important service any citizen can be called on to perform.”

Judge Goss went on to thank the jurors for the “obvious care and sense of responsibility” with which they carried out their deliberations.

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Letby was not in court to hear verdicts

Lucy Letby was not present in court when the final verdicts were delivered.

Her parents, John and Susan, were also not in attendance.

Lucy Letby was absent from the dock as verdicts were delivered

Lucy Letby was absent from the dock as verdicts were delivered

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The trial

Letby’s trial began at Manchester Crown Court on October 10 2022. Letby pleaded not guilty to seven counts of murder, and fifteen counts of attempted murder relating to ten babies.

Letby herself gave evidence to the court in May 2023.

The trial was originally due to last approximately six months, but went on until July 10 2023 when the jury was sent to consider verdicts.

The jury returned its final verdicts on August 18 2023.

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In June 2016, consultants met to discuss “unexpected and inexplicable” events on the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester. Letby was removed from frontline duties.

In September 2016 Letby became aware of the allegations against her after receiving a letter informing her she was being held responsible for the deaths.

In May 2017 police launched an investigation into the deaths. In July 2018 Letby was arrested for the first time and charged with the murder of eight babies and the attempted murder of a further six.

Letby’s home at Arran Avenue, Hereford was searched by police following the arrest. She was bailed on July 6 2018 as police continued their inquiries.

On June 11 2019, Letby was arrested for a second time and charged with three additional attempted murder counts.

On November 10 2020, Letby was arrested for a third and final time. One of the murder charges was later changed to attempted murder. Letby was denied bail and remained in police custody.

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Lucy Letby’s upbringing

Born in January 1990, Letby grew up in Hereford, where she attended a comprehensive school before enrolling at the University of Chester to study nursing.

Letby graduated with a nursing degree and qualified as a band 5 nurse in September 2011.

In January 2012, she started working full-time at the Countess of Chester Hospital, living in accommodation on the grounds.

In March 2014, she undertook Neonatal Qualified In Speciality training to work with intensive care infants.

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CPS: ‘Letby’s attacks were a complete betrayal of the trust placed in her’

Pascale Jones, a senior crown prosecutor with the complex casework unit of CPS Mersey Cheshire said: 

Lucy Letby was entrusted to protect some of the most vulnerable babies. Little did those working alongside her know that there was a murderer in their midst.

She did her utmost to conceal her crimes, by varying the ways in which she repeatedly harmed babies in her care.

She sought to deceive her colleagues and pass off the harm she caused as nothing more than a worsening of each baby’s existing vulnerability.

In her hands, innocuous substances like air, milk, fluids or medication like insulin would become lethal. She perverted her learning and weaponised her craft to inflict harm, grief and death.

Time and again, she harmed babies, in an environment which should have been safe for them and their families.

Parents were exposed to her morbid curiosity and her fake compassion. Too many of them returned home to empty baby rooms. Many surviving children live with permanent consequences of her assaults upon their lives.

Her attacks were a complete betrayal of the trust placed in her.

My thoughts are with families of the victims who may never have closure, but who now have answers to questions which had troubled them for years.

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Timeline of murders

First murder – Baby A (8 June 2015)

Second murder – Baby C (14 June 2015) 

Third murder – Baby D (22 June 2015)

Fourth murder – Baby E (4 August 2015)

Fifth murder – Baby I (23 Oct 2015) 

Sixth murder – Baby O (23 June 2016) 

Seventh murder – Baby P (24 June 2016)

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Verdicts were delivered in stages

On Tuesday August 8, Letby was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder in relation to the poisoning of two infants with insulin.

As those verdicts were handed down, the neonatal nurse broke down and sobbed uncontrollably.

Three days later on Friday August 11, six more guilty verdicts were handed down, including four counts of murder.

This time, Letby kept her head bowed throughout. But her mother, Susan, who has attended every day of the trial with husband John, cried out “this can’t be right, this can’t be right”, before breaking down.

On Wednesday August 16, the jury returned seven more verdicts, and it was confirmed that she had been found guilty of all the murders with which she had been charged.

Some of the parents of the victims sobbed quietly, comforting one another as the verdicts were delivered.

On this occasion Letby refused to leave her cell, informing the judge she was not willing to take part in the rest of the proceedings.

Just before lunchtime on Friday, the jury informed the judge they were unable to reach verdicts on the six outstanding charges and they were discharged.

Letby was acquitted of two attempted murders.

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Welcome to our coverage of Lucy Letby’s verdict

We will be bringing you live coverage of the Lucy Letby verdicts, including the latest news and reaction from Manchester Crown Court.

Patrick Sawer, our senior reporter, is at the court, while Martin Evans and crime correspondent Will Bolton are working on the case from London.

The verdicts were delivered after jurors heard evidence over nine months, before retiring to deliberate on Monday, July 10.

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