Nurse re-arrested on suspicion of murdering eight babies

A nurse has been re-arrested on suspicion of murdering eight babies and trying to kill another nine at a hospital in Cheshire.

Police said they have re-arrested a healthcare professional, understood to be nurse Lucy Letby, who was previously detained in 2018 and 2019.

It comes more than three years after an investigation into a number of baby deaths and non-fatal collapses at the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital was opened.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes of Cheshire Police said: ‘In that time a dedicated team of detectives have been working extremely hard on this highly complex and very sensitive case doing everything they can as quickly as they can to identify what has led to these baby deaths and collapses.’

The healthcare professional was first arrested on suspicion of murdering eight babies and attempting to kill six in July 2018.  

She was bailed pending further enquiries and re-arrested a year later over the same crime, as well as in connection with three more attempted murders.

Detective Hughes said: ‘Today (Tuesday 10 November), as part of our ongoing enquiries, the healthcare professional has been re-arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of 8 babies and the attempted murder of 9 babies.

‘The woman is currently in custody helping officers with their enquiries.’

Parents of all the babies have been updated on the latest development and are being supported by specially trained officers. 

Detective Hughes said the investigation was ‘extremely challenging’.

‘This is an extremely difficult time for all the families and it is important to remember that, at the heart of this, there are a number of bereaved families seeking answers as to what happened to their children.

‘Due to the nature of this investigation it is extremely challenging but it is important to remember that, despite the passage of time, it is very much active and ongoing. 

‘There are no set timescales and we remain committed to carrying out a thorough investigation.

‘For that reason, I would urge people to avoid any commentary or speculation online or otherwise regarding the investigation itself or the identity of anyone involved as this is unhelpful and it could cause distress to the parents of the babies.  It could also impact on the ongoing criminal case moving forward.

‘At this stage, I am unable to go into any further details about the investigation but as soon as I can provide any further updates I will do.’

More to follow

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