A neonatal nurse has been charged with eight counts of murder and 10 of attempted murder following an investigation into baby deaths at a hospital in England’s north-west.
Lucy Letby, 30, appear in Warrington Magistrates’ Court to face the charges on Thursday (local time), according to Cheshire Police.
Ms Letby, of Hereford, was arrested in 2018 and 2019 as part of an investigation into the deaths of 17 babies and 15 non-fatal collapses at the Countess of Chester Hospital, but was bailed pending further inquiries.
A spokesperson from the Cheshire Police force confirmed Ms Letby had been arrested for a third time on Tuesday and would be charged.
“The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised Cheshire Police to charge a healthcare professional with murder in connection with an ongoing investigation into a number of baby deaths,” the spokesperson said.
“Lucy Letby, of Arran Avenue, Hereford, is facing eight charges of murder and 10 charges of attempted murder.
“The charges relate to the period of June 2015 to June 2016.”
According to The Times, if Ms Letby is convicted of all eight murders she will become Britain’s most prolific child killer.
On Tuesday, police said parents of the babies involved were being kept updated on developments and supported by officers.
Following her previous arrests, Ms Letby’s home in the Blacon area of Chester was searched by police.
In a 2013 interview with the Chester and District Standard newspaper, the nurse said she cared for babies requiring various levels of support.
“My role involves caring for a wide range of babies requiring various levels of support,” she said.
A neighbour of Ms Letby’s parents told The Times: “Lucy is so dedicated to her job. I just truly can’t believe it. She was a good little girl. She was a delight.”
Ms Letby had worked at the unit as a student nurse during three years of training before qualifying as a children’s nurse at the University of Chester in 2011, at which point she started working there.