A British nurse was arrested for the alleged murder of eight babies and the attempted murder of ten others, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.
Lucy Letby, a pediatric nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital in the UK, was arrested in both 2018 and 2019 in connection with a series of deaths at the medical facility. Letby was arrested a third time on Tuesday in connection with a series of deaths at the hospital’s neonatal unit. Letby is expected to appear in Warrington Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
“The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised Cheshire Police to charge a medical professional with murder in connection with an ongoing investigation into a number of baby deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital,” said a statement from Cheshire Police on Tuesday.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes of Cheshire Police said on Wednesday that the parents of the babies “have been kept abreast of this latest development and will continue to be supported throughout the process by specially trained officers”. Hughes added that “no fixed time frames” had been set on the information.
“We recognize the new and significant development in this case, which is of serious concern to the Trust,” the Countess of Chester Hospital said in a statement issued Wednesday in Washington Newsday. “We fully support and respect the legal proceedings and will not make any further comments at this time. Our thoughts remain with all families involved.”
The crimes of which Letby is accused are believed to have occurred between June 2015 and June 2016. At that time, the percentage of deaths in the hospital’s neonatal unit was higher than normal. According to the Daily Mail, the hospital launched an internal investigation after a number of premature babies suffered heart and lung failure. After the collapse, the babies were difficult to resuscitate and had unexplained spots on their legs and arms.
According to Cheshire Police, Letby is working with the investigators.
Letby was instrumental in a hospital fund-raising drive that raised more than $4 million to expand a new neonatal unit. Construction of the unit was completed in August. According to “The Sun,” Letby said in an interview that she hopes the new unit will provide “a greater degree of privacy and space.