A former neonatal nurse has pleaded not guilty in connection to the murders and attempted murders of numerous newborns in a neonatal unit.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lucy Letby, 30, was initially arrested in 2018 for the deaths of babies at Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, England. Letby is accused of killing eight babies and attempting to kill 10 more infants while working at the hospital.
After two days of questioning and an intense search of her home in 2018, authorities released Letby on bail. Chester police arrested her again in 2019 for the almost-deaths of additional babies.
In court last week, Letby pleaded not guilty to the 18 charges against her, BBC News reports. She’s expected to face trial in October 2022.
Friends previously said that they were shocked at the allegations and considered Letby to be a dedicated and compassionate nurse, according to DailyMail.
“Lucy was doing the job she dreamed of doing and appeared nothing but dedicated and professional. You can’t imagine her hurting a fly let alone defenseless babies,” a friend said.
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 previously 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 remains in custody. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Lucy Letby/Facebook]