Nurse accused of murdering eight babies appears in court

A nurse accused of the murders of eight babies in an alleged year-long killing spree at a hospital neonatal unit has appeared in the dock of a courtroom for the first time.

Lucy Letby, 30, is alleged to have murdered five baby boys and three baby girls while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

She is also accused of the attempted murder of five baby boys and five baby girls, all between June 2015 and June 1016.

Letby appeared via videolink at Warrington Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

On Friday she appeared in the dock for the first time in person at Chester Crown Court.

Letby, wearing grey jogging bottoms and a grey sweatshirt and carrying a bottle of water, spoke only to confirm her name and remained passive throughout the hearing, lasting around four hours and dealing with preliminary matters and a bail application.

A prison van carrying Lucy Letby arrives at Chester Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA)
A prison van carrying Lucy Letby arrives at Chester Crown Court (Peter Byrne/PA)

The defendant waved to her parents sitting in the public gallery as she came into and left court during brief adjournments.

Her father mouthed “I love you” back to her.

Judge Steven Everett, Honorary Recorder of Chester, imposed an order banning any information that could lead to the identification of witnesses and thereby prohibiting further publication of the names of the babies allegedly murdered by Letby.

Ben Myers QC, representing Letby, made the application for bail, which was held in private and the press benches were cleared of the dozen or so reporters in court.

An hour later press were allowed back into court to hear Judge Everett’s decision to refuse the bail application.

Letby, of Arran Avenue, Hereford, was arrested in 2018 and 2019 as part of the police investigation into the Countess of Chester Hospital, which began in 2017.

A further hearing is scheduled to be held at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday.