A former neonatal nurse appeared in court Thursday morning, where the names of eight deceased infants were released publicly for the first time.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lucy Letby was -rearrested earlier this week in connection with the murders and attempted murders of infants she cared for while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, England. The latest arrest marks the third time Letby was arrested during the investigation. Letby was out on bail when she was arrested again this week.
The names of the deceased children, according to DailyMail, include:
- Barney Gee
- Cemlyn Bennett
- Daisy Parkin
- Elsie McNall
- Joseph Johnson
- Joseph Gelder and Eli Gelder (siblings)
- Maddie Freed
All of the infants were under one year of age.
Letby appeared via video from the Blacon Police Station in Chester, in front of a judge at the Warrington Magistrates’ Court, where she confirmed her name and date of birth. She’s being held on 18 charges and will remain in custody until the next court hearing.
Authorities launched an investigation in 2017 after the infant death count at the hospital rose to above 10% of the national average between March 2015 and July 2016.
Letby’s first arrest in 2018 stemmed from the death of eight babies and the almost-death of six babies at the hospital’s neonatal unit. In 2019, she was re-arrested on suspicion of the attempted murder of three additional infants. The latest arrest was part of the investigation into the same offenses.
“The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised 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,” Cheshire police said, according to BBC.
*Previous video on the case*
An internal inquiry determined that many of the babies had heart and lung failure and despite attempts, could not be resuscitated.
The majority of infants who died while under Letby’s care were premature. The unusually high amounts of deaths prompted the hospital to close its neonatal units and stop caring for babies born before 32 weeks.
At the time, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health slammed the hospital and its supposed unsafe conditions for babies.
Although inspectors couldn’t initially find a reason why the babies were dying, there were numerous concerns, including gaps in medical rotations, insufficient coverage by senior doctors, and poor decision-making skills among healthcare staff.
After Letby’s first arrest in 2018, the parents of a now 6-year-old girl pushed for additional investigations after their daughter almost died as a newborn while at the hospital.
“We feel the police should widen their investigation to take in deaths and non-fatal collapses that happened earlier in Miss Letby’s time there,” the father of the child, Mike Whitfield said.
“We want answers for ourselves and we want answers for those poor parents whose babies actually died. … These parents need answers and our hearts go out to them. Losing a baby is something you’re never going to get over, but then to find out, perhaps, that your baby didn’t need to die, for whatever reason, is unimaginable.”
Detective Hughes said this week that the parents of all the babies who fell ill or passed away are being “fully updated on this latest development and they are continuing to be supported throughout the process by specially trained officers.”
Letby is scheduled to appear in court again tomorrow for a further hearing.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Lucy Letby/Facebook]