Corporate manslaughter probe following Lucy Letby murder convictions
Letby was handed a whole life order after she was convicted of the murders of seven babies.
A corporate manslaughter investigation has begun following nurse Lucy Letby’s murder convictions.
Letby, 33, was sentenced to a whole life order after she was convicted 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.
On Wednesday, Cheshire Constabulary said the force is carrying out an investigation into corporate manslaughter at the hospital.
Detective Superintendent Simon Blackwell said: “The investigation will focus on the indictment period of the charges for Lucy Letby, from June 2015 to June 2016, and consider areas including senior leadership and decision making to determine whether any criminality has taken place.
“At this stage we are not investigating any individuals in relation to gross negligence manslaughter.
“The investigation is in the very early stages and we are unable to go into any further details or answer specific questions at this time.
“We recognise that this investigation will have a significant impact on a number of different stakeholders including the families in this case and we are continuing to work alongside and support them during this process.
“You will be notified of any further updates in due course.”
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) previously said it wanted to pursue a retrial on one of Letby’s outstanding charges – that she attempted to murder a baby girl, known as Child K, in February 2016.
A provisional trial date of June 10 2024 at the same court has been fixed.
The jury of seven women and four men in Letby’s 10-month trial could not reach verdicts on claims she attempted to murder three baby girls, Child H, Child J and Child K.
Verdicts were also not reached on two counts of attempted murder against Child N, a baby boy, and an allegation she tried to murder another male infant, Child Q.
Letby was found guilty of one count of attempted murder against Child N.
The defendant, from Hereford, denied all the offences and formally lodged an appeal against her convictions at the Court of Appeal last month.
A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children who were the subject of the allegations.
Parents of twins that Letby was found guilty of harming said the investigation would mean that “hopefully there will be no hiding place for the senior management of that trust”.
In a statement, they said: “We welcome the news this morning of corporate manslaughter charges against Countess Of Chester Hospital.
“Hopefully now there will be no hiding place for the senior management of that trust.
“People who aided Letby to carry on her deeds need to be brought to justice.
“I’m sure the police will do this during their investigation and I’m grateful to them for all the dedicated support they have given us.”
Tamlin Bolton, of law firm Switalskis, which represents seven families, said: “This is significant news today. The families we represent have continued to request that senior management at the Countess of Chester Hospital be investigated and/or be part of investigations moving forward.
“We are reassured that some steps are now being taken to consider the actions of management from a criminal perspective.
“It will be for the CPS and the police to determine now if the conduct of the senior management at the Countess of Chester Hospital fell so far below what could reasonably have been expected of them, that their actions caused or contributed to the deaths of those seven children.
“While the news is welcomed, this announcement brings with it fresh anguish for the families as they wait for the conclusion of these further criminal investigations.”