A CHILDREN’S nurse has been arrested over the deaths of eight babies at a hospital in Cheshire.
Lucy Letby was quizzed on suspicion of murder and attempted murder for two days before being released on bail. Here’s everything we know about her and the case so far…
SWNS:South West News Service Lucy Letby has been quizzed over the deaths of eight babies at a hospital in Cheshire
Who is Lucy Letby?
Children’s nurse Lucy Letby was arrested on July 3, 2018 on suspicion of murdering eight babies at the hospital and attempted murder in relation to six others.
The 28-year-old is currently being quizzed by detectives at a police station in Chester.
Detective Inspector Paul Hughes, who is in charge of the investigation, said: “As a result of our ongoing enquiries we have today (Tuesday, July 3) arrested a healthcare professional in connection with the investigation.
“We recognise that this investigation has a huge impact on all of the families, staff and patients at the hospital as well as members of the public.
“Parents of all the babies are continuing to be kept fully updated and are being supported throughout the process by specially trained officers.
“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.”
Letby was arrested at her £180,000 home, approximately a mile and a half away from the hospital.
The blonde nurse’s arrest has left colleagues stunned as she is regarded as a champion of the children she cares for.
If the nurse is convicted of murdering eight babies, she would become Britain’s most prolific child killer.
SWNS:South West News Service People believed to be plain clothed police officers leave the family home of Lucy Letby
What is the latest in the case?
Nurse Lucy Letby was released on bail on July 6, 2018, pending further enquiries.
She was quizzed by detectives for two days as forensic officers searched her home in Chester.
Cheshire police issued a statement following her release saying “This is an extremely difficult time for all the families.
“We continue to recognise that this investigation has a huge impact on all of the families, staff, and patients at the hospital as well as members of the public.”
They added: “Parents of all the babies continue to be kept fully updated and are being supported throughout the process by specially trained officers.”
Images from Letby’s home, taken on July 5, show officers examining gutters and digging up her garden.
Letby’s arrest was part of a long inquiry into a higher than expected number of baby deaths at the Countess of Chester hospital over an 18 month period.
The cases involve families from Cheshire and north Wales.
Cheshire Police has not officially named the suspect and the investigation is ongoing.
News Group Newspapers Ltd Forensic officers searched the nurse’s property, including the guttering
Why was an investigation launched?
Police launched a probe into the neo-natal unit at Countess of Chester Hospital in May last year.
Cops have now revealed they are investigating the deaths of 17 babies and 15 non-fatal collapses.
The hospital trust raised the alarm itself following the high number of fatalities between March 2015 and July 2016.
Medics launched an internal inquiry after finding the premature babies had collapsed with heart and lung failure but were unusually impossible to resuscitate.
A report later found the babies developed strange blotches on their arms and legs after death.
Experts could not find a cause of death and police were called in to investigate in 2017.
Det Insp Paul Hughes, of Cheshire Police, said: “Since the start of our enquiries and, as the information gathering process has continued, the scope of the investigation has now widened.
“We are now currently investigating the deaths of 17 babies and 15 non-fatal collapses between the period of March 2015 and July 2016.”
On July 4, a second institute – Liverpool Women’s Hospital – said it was also assisting detectives in their investigation.
PA:Press Association Blue tents were erected outside the nurse’s property as forensic searches continued
What has Letby said about her job?
In a previous interview with a local paper, Letby posed on a ward holding a babygro and described her love of the job.
She said: “I qualified as a Children’s Nurse from The University of Chester in 2011 and have been working on the unit since graduating.
“I also worked on the unit as a student nurse during my three years of training. My role involves caring for a wide range of babies requiring various levels of support.