LONDON (Bywire News) - Lucy Letby, the 33-year-old former nurse convicted of the murder of seven infants and the attempted murder of six more at the Countess of Chester Hospital, is set to face retrial on one outstanding count of attempted murder. The decision was announced in Manchester Crown Court, adding another layer to this intricate and harrowing legal case.
The jury in Letby’s initial trial was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on six additional counts of attempted murder, which involved three baby girls and two baby boys. The prosecution, led by Nick Johnson KC, has opted to pursue a retrial on one of these unresolved counts—specifically, the attempted murder of a newborn girl in February 2016.
The presiding judge, Mr Justice Goss KC, announced that the earliest date available for the retrial would be 10 June 2024, attributing the delay to an existing backlog of cases in the judicial system. Importantly, he stipulated that the retrial would only proceed once the courts have ruled on Letby’s appeal against her prior convictions.
Letby, who is currently serving multiple whole-life prison sentences, participated in the court proceedings via video link from HMP New Hall, near Wakefield in West Yorkshire. She thus becomes one of only four women in the history of the United Kingdom to receive such a sentence.
The decision to not pursue retrials on the remaining counts has elicited a response from Switalskis law firm, which represents seven of the affected families. Tamlin Bolton, a spokesperson for the firm, expressed disappointment with the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision. He emphasised that the families "still have questions that are unanswered" and that they "deserve to know what happened to their children."
Jonathan Storer, the Chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS Mersey-Cheshire, noted that the decision to seek a retrial on the unresolved count was both complex and difficult. He stated that a variety of factors were considered, including the evidence presented during the lengthy initial trial, as well as consultations with affected families.
In a case that has gripped the nation and provoked difficult questions about trust and safety within healthcare settings, the retrial promises to add another complex chapter. With judicial proceedings set to continue into 2024, Lucy Letby remains at the centre of a legal and ethical storm that shows no sign of abating.