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Chester nurse Lucy Letby has been charged with the murder of eight babies


A pediatric nurse is due to appear in court today on charges of the murders of eight babies and the attempted murder of ten

Lucy Letby was charged last night after being arrested for the third time on Tuesday this week on death row.

The charges, all of which cover a period between 2015 and 2016, follow an investigation into the death of babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

Letby, 30, was arrested by Cheshire police in 2018 after the hospital death toll rose.

The Chester University graduate, who was once the face of a £ 3 million fundraiser and also worked at Liverpool Women's Hospital, was arrested again in 2019 and earlier this week for the same alleged crimes.

Police opened an investigation after the hospital raised concerns about the high number of deaths between March 2015 and July 2016, which was 10 percent above average.

An internal investigation was conducted when medical professionals discovered that premature babies had died from heart and lung failure but were unusually impossible to resuscitate.

Letby's friends and family said at the time they firmly believed the "clumsy" but "good-hearted" newborn nurse was innocent.

Lucy Letby, 30, has been charged with eight murders and ten attempted murders, Cheshire police said

What follows is an investigation into the deaths of babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Pictured: Lucy Letby

What follows is an investigation into the deaths of babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Pictured: Lucy Letby

A police car outside the Women's and Children's Building at the Countess of Chester's Hospital when Letby was arrested again in 2019

A police car outside the Women's and Children's Building at the Countess of Chester's Hospital when Letby was arrested again in 2019

A house on Westbourne Road in Chester that was examined twice by police in 2018 and 2019 after Sister Lucy Letby was arrested

A house on Westbourne Road in Chester that was examined twice by police in 2018 and 2019 after Sister Lucy Letby was arrested

Hospital baby dies completely after four years of investigation

May 2017: The police opened an investigation into the deaths of 17 babies and 16 non-fatal incidents in children between March 2015 and July 2016.

July 2018: A healthcare professional arrested on suspicion of murder related to the death of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies.

June 2019: The same woman is arrested again on suspicion of murder related to the death of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies. She was also arrested in connection with the attempted murder of three other babies.

November 2020: Police confirm that they have arrested a health care worker again for the alleged crime and are holding her in custody.

Letby from Hereford will appear before Warrington Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Following her arrest earlier this week, Cheshire Police Department Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes said, “It has been more than three years since we first opened an investigation into a number of deaths and non-fatal breakdowns of babies in The Neonatal Unit Countess of Chester Hospital.

& # 39; During that time, a dedicated team of detectives have worked extremely hard on this highly complex and very sensitive case, doing everything possible to find out as soon as possible what led to these baby deaths and breakdowns.

In July 2018, a health care professional was arrested on suspicion of murder related to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies in the neonatal ward of the Countess of Chester Hospital.

& # 39; She was later released on bail pending further investigation.

In June 2019, the health care professional was arrested again on suspicion of murder related to the death of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies.

She was also arrested in connection with the attempted murder of three other babies.

"On November 10, as part of our ongoing investigation, the health care professionals were arrested again on suspicion of murder related to the death of eight babies and the attempted murder of nine babies."

Police opened an investigation into infant deaths at the hospital in May 2017.

The investigation was later expanded to include the deaths of 17 babies and 16 non-fatal breakdowns between March 2015 and July 2016.

The investigation came after the hospital raised concerns about the high number of deaths between March 2015 and July 2016, which was 10 percent above average.

Two babies died on site in 2013, but by 2015 it had quadrupled to eight.

An internal investigation was conducted when medical professionals discovered that premature babies had died after heart and lung failure but were unusually impossible to resuscitate.

One report also found that the infants had unusual spots on their arms and legs after they died.

However, a cause of death could not be established and the police were asked to investigate the case in 2017.

Following her previous arrests, Letby's £ 180,000 house in the Blacon area of ​​Chester was raided by police, as was her parents' home in Hereford.

The Chester University graduate (pictured), who was once the face of a £ 3 million fundraiser and also worked at Liverpool Women's Hospital, was arrested again in 2019 and earlier this week for the same alleged crimes

The Chester University graduate (pictured), who was once the face of a £ 3 million fundraiser and also worked at Liverpool Women's Hospital, was arrested again in 2019 and earlier this week for the same alleged crimes

Lucy Letby had once been the face of an effort to raise £ 3 million for the newborn unit

Lucy Letby qualified as a Pediatric Nurse at the University of Chester in 2011

Lucy Letby (pictured left) had once been the face of an effort to raise £ 3 million for the newborn unit. The 30-year-old (pictured right) qualified as a pediatric nurse at the University of Chester in 2011

The 30-year-old Letby was arrested by Cheshire police in 2018 after the number of deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital rose (picture).

The 30-year-old Letby was arrested by Cheshire police in 2018 after the number of deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital rose (picture).

Despite allegations made against her, a friend previously described Letby as a "professional nurse" dedicated to her "dream job" and "wouldn't hurt a fly".

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “To be honest, we are still vacillating.

“Even after sleeping, I think everyone here is still in a state of shock and disbelief.

Lucy was doing the job she'd dreamed of and just seemed dedicated and professional. You can't imagine herself hurting a fly, let alone defenseless babies. «

Another resident on the street, who also refused to be named, added: “I can't add much more to what has already been said about her.

“I knew her when I was a little girl and she was as cute as anything. I saw her grow up and she seemed like a beautiful woman.

“So this is news that is deeply shocking. I can not understand.

"When you hear about such things, a person or two always say," I thought you had something wrong with you. "

"But you will only hear positive things with Lucy."

A salesman in a shop near the family home said, “You stop by every now and then and are a very polite family. They all seem very friendly and normal.

"It's shocking because it's a beautiful area and we rarely see cops here."

Letby was determined to start nursing after leaving her Hereford comprehensive school.

A house on Westbourne Road in Chester that was examined twice in 2018 and 2019 following the arrest of Sister Lucy Letby is pictured in 2019

A house on Westbourne Road in Chester that was examined twice in 2018 and 2019 following the arrest of Sister Lucy Letby is pictured in 2019

She has been described as "geeky" and has always wanted to do good by helping out for charity.

She was the face of a £ 3 million appeal to build a new pediatric unit in the hospital in 2013.

Jordan Sands, who knew her through a former girlfriend, said: "She was pretty clumsy and geeky, but seemed like a kind person."

Number of babies that died in the facility

The figures show that the number of babies who died at the facility increased in 2015 and 2016.

2009 – 3

2010 – 1

2011 – 3

2012 – 3

2013 – 2nd

2014 – 3

2015 – 8th

2016 – 5th

Another friend, who asked not to be named, described her as "an amazing person".

Police were called in by the hospital in May 2017 after a 2016 report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health found that the department was under staffed.

While the review couldn't find a reason for the increase in baby deaths between June 2015 and June 2016, it identified a number of concerns.

These included significant gaps in medical and nursing rotation, inadequate coverage from senior physicians, poor decision-making, and the reluctance of some employees to seek advice from colleagues.

Two babies died in the unit in 2013 and three in 2014, but the death rate rose to eight deaths in 2015 and by June 2016 five babies had died that year.

The increased death rate caused the hospital to stop caring for babies born 32 weeks ago and to close the three intensive care beds.

The shocked neighbors of Miss Letby's parents in Hereford described her as "very career oriented" and said she was committed to getting a job with the NHS.

A neighbor said, “I was woken up by an arriving police car. This is a very quiet street and you don't expect it to pass right on your street. & # 39;

Miss Letby was interviewed in 2013 and said she had worked in the neonatal department since graduating from the University of Chester as a pediatric nurse two years ago.

In the photo wearing tiny pajamas in support of a local newspaper's fundraiser, she added, “My job is to look after a variety of babies who need different levels of support.

“Some are here for a few days, others for many months, and I love when they make progress and support their families.

"I am currently doing additional training to develop and improve my knowledge and skills in the intensive care unit."

In 2011, her parents, John and Susan, published a message in their local newspaper as well as a picture of their daughter proudly wearing her mortar board hat to congratulate her on graduation with honors.

One neighbor said her only child was "a very career-oriented person" and described her as "so committed to her job".

"Her parents have been my neighbors for at least 25 years, so I saw Lucy grow up," she said.

Lucy lives away, but visits her often like any good daughter. They adored her … they had just got back from a week long vacation in Torquay. & # 39;

She added, “I just can't believe it. She was a pleasure. Your parents have to go through hell. & # 39;

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