A children’s nurse today pleaded not guilty to the murder of eight babies and the attempted murder of 10 others.
Lucy Letby , 31, repeated ‘not guilty’ 18 times as the charges were put to her over a videolink from HMP Peterborough, where she is on remand.
The Chester University graduate is alleged to have murdered five boys and three girls while working at the neonatal unit of Countess of Chester Hospital, where she was once the face of a £3million fundraising campaign.
The medic is also charged with the attempted murder of five boys and five girls, with all alleged offences committed between June 2015 and June 2016.
After entering her pleas, the defendant, of Hereford, sat listening to hearing, which dealt largely with administrative matters.
Letby had first been detained by Cheshire Police back in 2018 after a spike in the number of deaths at her neonatal unit.
She was re-arrested over the same alleged offences in 2019 and again last year.
Police launched an investigation after the hospital raised concerns at the high number of deaths between March 2015 and July 2016 – which were said to be 10 per cent above average.
An internal inquiry was undertaken when medics found premature babies had died following heart and lung failure, but were unusually impossible to resuscitate.
Reporting restrictions are still in place ahead of the trial, which is now scheduled for October 2022.
At an earlier hearing, Mr Justice Dove said next year would be a realistic starting date for her trial ‘of this magnitude and complexity’.
The estimated length of the trial, to be held at Manchester Crown Court, is six months.