Trial date set for nurse accused of murdering 8 babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital

A trial date has been set for a nurse accused of the murder of eight babies over a year at a hospital neonatal unit.

Lucy Letby, 31, is alleged to have murdered five baby boys and three baby girls while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

She is also accused of the attempted murder of five baby boys and five baby girls, all between June 2015 and June 1016.

She appeared via video-link from HMP Peterborough for a hearing at Chester Crown Court on Friday where Mr Justice Dove set a trial date of January 11 2022.

He also ruled the trial will be held in Manchester, either at the city's main crown court at Crown Square or the venue currently being used for the public inquiry into the Manchester Arena terror attack, at the city's magistrates' court building.

The hearing on Friday, lasting 35 minutes, dealt largely with case management and pre-trial issues.

Letby, wearing blue jeans, a black top and shoulder length dark hair, spoke only to confirm her identity.

Ben Myers QC, defending, told the court he will "in due course" be applying for bail for the defendant.

A date for the bail application to be heard has yet to be fixed.

A further case management hearing is scheduled for May 10.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of surviving and deceased children allegedly attacked by Letby, and prohibits identifying the parents or witnesses connected with the children.

Letby, of Arran Avenue, Hereford, was arrested in 2018 and 2019 as part of the police investigation into the Countess of Chester Hospital, which began in 2017.