Lucy Letby is accused of the murders of eight babies in a year-long killing spree at a hospital neonatal unit today appeared in the dock of a courtroom for the first time.
She is also accused of the attempted murder of five baby boys and five baby girls, all between June 2015 and June 1016.
The 30-year-old appeared in person in the dock at Chester Crown Court this afternoon and spoke only to confirm her name. She was remanded in custody after a judge rejected her application for bail.
Letby’s mother mimed ‘I love you’ to her daughter and made a heart shape with her fingers during today’s hearing.
Defence barrister Ben Myers QC, representing Letby, said the defendant was ‘very anxious’ about the situation and would like it resolved ‘as soon as possible’.
Judge Steven Everett, Honorary Recorder of Chester, acknowledged that all of the families involved in this case have had a ‘truly, truly stressful and traumatic time’.
He said the children had died in ‘undoubtedly terrible circumstances’.
Letby waved to her parents today, who had entered the court a few minutes earlier, sitting side by side in a gallery overlooking the dock.
Speaking after Letby was arrested earlier this week, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes from Cheshire Police said: ‘It has been more than three years since we first launched an investigation into a number of baby deaths and non-fatal collapses at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital.
‘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.
‘In July 2018, a healthcare professional was arrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies at the neonatal unit at The Countess of Chester Hospital.
‘She was subsequently bailed pending further enquiries.
‘In June 2019, the healthcare professional was rearrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of six babies.
‘She was also arrested in connection with the attempted murder of three additional babies.
‘On November 10, as part of our ongoing enquiries, the healthcare professional has been rearrested on suspicion of murder in relation to the deaths of eight babies and the attempted murder of nine babies.’