Lucy Letby to face retrial over attempt to murder baby girl

UK’s most prolific child killer to face additional charge after lodging appeal against conviction

Lucy Letby has a headshot taken while in police custody in November 2020
Lucy Letby was sentenced to whole-life imprisonment for the murder of seven babies and attempting to kill six others
(Image credit: Cheshire Constabulary via Getty Images)

Lucy Letby is to face a retrial over an attempt to murder a baby girl following an “extremely complex and difficult” deliberation by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The former nurse, described as the UK’s most prolific child killer, was sentenced to whole life imprisonment in August after a jury found her guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others on a neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

The jury at Manchester Crown Court were unable to reach verdicts on a further six counts of attempted murder. Now the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has sought a retrial for one of the outstanding charges relating to the attempted murder of a baby girl – known as Baby K – in February 2016.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Letby appeared via video link from HMP New Hall, near Wakefield, only speaking to confirm her name and that she could hear proceedings.

Nicholas Johnson KC, prosecuting, confirmed the Crown would not be pursuing a retrial on the other five outstanding counts.

Jonathan Storer, chief crown prosecutor of CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said decisions over retrials were “extremely complex and difficult”, said BBC News

“Before reaching our conclusions we listened carefully to the views of the families affected, police and prosecution counsel,” he said. “Many competing factors were considered including the evidence heard by the court during the long trial and its impact on our legal test for proceeding with a prosecution.”

Setting a provisional date for the retrial of 10 June 2024, Mr Justice Goss KC, who oversaw the original trial, said any retrial should not take place before judges had decided whether to give Letby permission to appeal against the convictions from her first trial.

Letby has continued to maintain her innocence on all charges and earlier this month lodged an appeal against her convictions at the Court of Appeal.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.