Former nurse Lucy Letby will face a retrial on a charge of attempting to murder a newborn baby girl, a UK court has been told.
Letby (33) was found guilty in August of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill a further six at the Countess of Chester hospital in northwest England.
The jury were unable to reach verdicts on a further six counts of attempted murder, relating to three newborn girls and two baby boys. She was accused of trying to kill one of the babies twice.
Prosecutor Nick Johnson KC told Manchester crown court on Monday that the prosecution would retry Letby on one of those allegations – the attempted murder of a baby girl in February 2016 – but not on the remaining counts.
Mr Justice Goss KC said the first available date for a new trial was June 10th, 2024, due to the “huge backlog of cases” in the courts.
Nevertheless, he said any new trial should not take place before judges had decided whether to give Letby permission to appeal against the convictions from her first trial.
Letby will spend the rest of her life in prison after being sentenced to multiple whole-life terms – one for each offence – becoming only the fourth woman in UK history to receive such a sentence.
Letby, who refused to attend her sentencing and the final days of her trial, watched the proceedings via a video-link to a conference room in prison, near Wakefield in west Yorkshire. She confirmed her name to the court and that she could hear the legal discussions.
Afterwards, Jonathan Storer, chief crown prosecutor at CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said: “These decisions on whether to seek retrials on the remaining counts of attempted murder were extremely complex and difficult.
“Before reaching our conclusions we listened carefully to the views of the families affected, police and prosecution counsel. Many competing factors were considered including the evidence heard by the court during the long trial and its impact on our legal test for proceeding with a prosecution.
“We have met with all the families affected by these decisions to explain how they were reached,” he said. – Guardian