CHILD serial killer Lucy Letby has formally lodged a bid to challenge her conviction at the Court of Appeal, officials have confirmed.

Court staff said on Friday, September 15, that they had received an application for permission to appeal.

Letby, 33, originally from Hereford, was sentenced to a whole life order after jurors convicted her of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit in 2015 and 2016.

The Department of Health has previously said that an independent inquiry will be held into Letby’s case, and will examine “the circumstances surrounding the deaths and incidents – including how concerns raised by clinicians were dealt with”.

Lady Justice Thirlwall will lead that inquiry, which will have legal powers to compel witnesses, including former and current staff of the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where Letby worked and killed, to provide evidence.

Separately, a court hearing is to take place on Monday, September 25 at Manchester Crown Court, where the Crown Prosecution Service will announce if a retrial is to be held on a total of six counts on attempted murder charges where jurors failed to reach a verdict.

The jury in the first trial, which lasted 10 months, was unable to reach verdicts on six counts of attempted murder of babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

The six counts were one for Child H, one for Child J, one for Child K, two for Child N and one for Child Q, with the prosecution alleging these attacks by Letby, a neonatal unit nurse, took place between September 2015 and June 2016. Letby, 33 and originally from Hereford, denied all charges.

CPS guidance in the event of the failure of a jury to agree on a verdict is, as stated on its website: "There is a presumption that the prosecution will seek a retrial where a jury fails to agree on a verdict at the first trial.

"The following factors should be taken into account when considering a retrial in these circumstances.

  • The merits of the case;
  • Likely reasons for the jury's failure to reach a verdict;
  • The public interest in seeking a verdict
  • The interests and views of the victim(s);
  • Any views expressed by the trial judge;
  • Prosecuting Advocate's opinion; and
  • The views of the police.

"Where two juries fail to reach a verdict, the presumption is that the prosecution will not seek a third trial unless there are exceptional circumstances."