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Serial killer neonatal nurse Lucy Letby’s bid to challenge convictions for murdering seven babies will be heard by Court of Appeal in April


Child serial killer Lucy Letby‘s bid to challenge her convictions is due to be considered by the Court of Appeal at a hearing in April, it has been confirmed today.

Letby’s lawyers will ask senior judges for permission to bring an appeal against all her convictions at the hearing in London provisionally listed for April 25, a judiciary spokeswoman confirmed.

The nurse, 34, had an initial application to take forward her challenge refused by a single judge without a hearing last month.

But she is able to renew her efforts before a panel of three judges at the hearing in nine weeks’ time. 

In August 2023, Letby, of Hereford, was sentenced to 14 whole life orders after she was convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others, with two attempts on one of her victims.

Last August, Lucy Letby was sentenced to 14 life orders after being convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six more

Last August, Lucy Letby was sentenced to 14 life orders after being convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six more

If judges decline to give permission in April, it will mark the end of the appeal process for Letby.

If she does receive permission, then the appeal will be heard at a separate hearing at a later date.

The offences took place at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit, where Letby worked as a nurse, between June 2015 and June 2016.

The jury in Letby’s trial at Manchester Crown Court was unable to reach verdicts on six counts of attempted murder in relation to five children.

The offences took place at the Countess of Chester Hospital's neonatal unit, where Letby worked as a nurse, between June 2015 and June 2016

The offences took place at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit, where Letby worked as a nurse, between June 2015 and June 2016

She will face a retrial at the same court in June on a single count that she attempted to murder a baby girl, known as Child K, in February 2016.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children who were the subject of the allegations.

Meanwhile, staff at the hospital where the neonatal nurse murdered seven babies pocketed more than £1.5 million in performance bonuses — with more than half awarded while the killer’s trial was going on. 

Countess of Chester Hospital has also been accused of a ‘cover-up’ after it lost records of ‘excellence’ awards while Letby was there.

Since 2018, its staff have received 459 Clinical Excellence Awards, the NHS equivalent of a performance bonus.

An exterior view of the Countess of Chester Hospital where Letby worked as a nurse between June 2015 and June 2016

An exterior view of the Countess of Chester Hospital where Letby worked as a nurse between June 2015 and June 2016 

Trusts apply to a nationally-run scheme for the awards, which are given for ‘safe and high-quality care’. Critics have called them a ‘gravy train’ for doctors because they effectively become permanent additions to their salaries.

The awards come up for renewal every five years and only a small number are not renewed.

More than half of the total amount of award money – £792,001 – was given in 2022-23, while the Letby trial was going on.

The Chester hospital’s management was heavily criticised over its handling of the Letby case. 

The hospital claims it has lost those records for Clinical Excellence Awards handed out during that period. In internal emails seen by The Mail on Sunday, staff said they ‘assume they are no longer held’.

Elliot Keck, head of campaigns at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which carried out the research, said: ‘Taxpayers will have serious questions about the culture within the Health Service, given the money being handed out to one of Britain’s most notorious trusts.

‘And with the missing information perfectly aligning to one of the darkest periods in the trust’s history, there will also be concerns about a cover-up. The NHS needs to learn that it has to be transparent and open with the taxpayers who fund it and with patients who rely on it.’

This is a breaking news story, more information to follow. 



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