A British nurse has been charged with the murder of eight premature newborns and the attempted murder of 10 others.
Lucy Letby, 30, worked at the Countess of Chester Hospital in the neonatal unit. She was arrested for the third time on Tuesday as part of a three-year-long investigation into the babies’ deaths. A probe was launched after the facility became concerned about a large number of deaths of prematurely born infants. The inquiry revealed the premature babies who died had suffered heart and lung failures. Letby was charged for the eight murders and 10 attempted murders that took place between June 2015 and June 2016, according to the Sun.
“The Crown Prosecution Service has authorized Cheshire Police to charge a healthcare professional with murder in connection with an ongoing investigation into a number of baby deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital,” according to a statement.
“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,” said Detective Chief Inspector Paul Hughes, who is in charge of the probe, the Sun reported.
“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,” he added.
The nurse was originally arrested in July 2018 on suspicion of murder but had been out on bail. She appeared in court on November 11 and again on November 12 where the names of eight murder victims were released, including a set of twins, Eli and Joseph Gelder.
It is unclear exactly how old the babies were at the times of their deaths, though Letby is charged with killing children under the age of one. Since each baby was in the neonatal unit and considered to be premature, they were born at an age at which it is still legal to kill preborn children via abortion. Babies as young as 21 weeks have been able to survive outside the womb with medical help. In the UK, abortion is legal for any reason until the 24th week of pregnancy and is legal until birth in cases of danger to the mother’s physical or mental health or a fetal diagnosis that would leave the child “seriously handicapped.”
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