By: 11 March 2024
Lucy Letby’s bid for appeal to be heard in court this April

The legal saga surrounding Lucy Letby, the former nurse convicted of multiple baby murders and attempted murders, continues to unfold with her bid for an appeal set to be heard in court this April. Switalskis, with offices in Leeds and Sheffield, has pledged support to the families represented.

 

In the summer of 2023, Lucy Letby gained widespread attention when the court convicted her of seven counts of baby murder and six counts of attempted baby murder. The severity of her crimes resulted in a life imprisonment sentence for each count. This decision sparked outrage and left many questions unanswered.

When pursuing appeal, Letby faced initial rejection by a solitary judge. This prompted her to escalate the matter within the legal system. Now, with a full court hearing scheduled for April 25, 2024, Letby’s legal team will argue for the right to appeal. The outcome of this hearing could shape her future.

The gravity of Letby’s crimes extends beyond the courtroom, triggering calls for accountability within the healthcare system. Operation Hummingbird, a police investigation, unearthed concerns regarding the care provided at the hospital trusts where Letby worked.

Responding to mounting pressure, Lady Justice Thirlwall spearheaded the initiation of a public inquiry to address the systemic failures that enabled Letby’s actions. Scheduled to commence in the autumn of 2024, the inquiry seeks to provide answers and hold accountable those responsible for the lapses in care.

Amidst the legal proceedings and inquiries, the affected families remain at the forefront of concern. Switalskis has pledged support to the families represented, navigating them through the complexities of the inquiry process and advocating for their rights.

 

Clare Gooch, senior associate solicitor in the medical negligence team at Switalskis, comments on the case;

“It would be impossible to count the number of people impacted by Lucy Letby’s crimes. The families, who went through countless hours of worry and trepidation each time she was arrested, undoubtedly angry and shocked when she was finally charged and then months of horrific, detailed evidence recounting what happened to their children in the Countess of Chester neonatal unit and under Letby’s care is unimaginable.

“In August 2023 verdicts were provided on some but not all of the cases, following what must have been a very difficult exercise of deliberation by the Jury. It has since been confirmed by the CPS that only one of the cases where a verdict could not be reached will be retried in June 2024.

Despite the outcome of the criminal proceedings, not all questions have been answered by these investigations and the Thirwall Inquiry, now underway, looks to scrutinise the actions of trust officials and the information available to them at the time to see if more could have been done to stop Letby’s actions.

As representatives for 7 of the families in the civil cases, we can only hope that answers will be provided to the families who have many unanswered questions and that the all Hospital Trusts will take time to learn from outcomes of the inquiry and investigations.”

 

Image: Clare Gooch, senior associate solicitor in the medical negligence team at Switalskis.
Emma Cockings
Emma is the content editor for Yorkshire Legal News. Emma is an experienced writer with a background in client-centric personal injury law for a major firm. She has attended and reported on numerous high-profile legal events in Yorkshire.