Killer nurse Lucy Letby will appeal her convictions for murdering seven babies and trying to kill another six
Serial killer nurse Lucy Letby has today appealed against her convictions.
The 33-year-old – who was sentenced to life imprisonment last month for murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others – is expected to begin her bid to clear her name at a court hearing later this month.
But a full hearing of her appeal is unlikely to take several months.
Letby, originally from Hereford, was convicted of attacking babies in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital in 2015 and 2016.
She denied any wrongdoing and refused to attend her sentencing at Manchester Crown Court.
Letby’s filing comes after a scientist launched a fundraising campaign claiming the case against her was based on “unreliable expert advice” and “poor knowledge” of science.
California-based Sarrita Adams, who describes herself as a scientific advisor to early-stage biotech companies, leads a group called Science on Trial. The group claims Letby’s conviction is ‘perhaps the greatest miscarriage of justice Britain has ever seen’.
Children’s nurse Lucy Letby (pictured in a custody photo) was given 14 life orders last month
Letby went on a killing spree at the Countess of Chester Hospital for a year
She was acquitted of two counts of attempted murder.
However, the jury could not reach a verdict on six attempted murders of five children.
The Crown Prosecution Service will announce whether it seeks a new trial on these charges at a hearing to be held in Manchester on September 25.
Letby is now expected to use that hearing to formally appeal her convictions.
Letby wants to appeal against all crimes for which she has been convicted, the court confirmed.
Anyone convicted of a crime has 28 days to apply for permission to appeal. The period of 28 days from the last statements in the trial against Letby would have expired today.
A judge will now review Letby’s application and decide whether to grant permission to appeal.
If permission is granted, the appeal would be heard by three senior judges.
If her application for permission to appeal is rejected, Letby can still renew her application before a panel of two or three judges.
In order for an appeal to be heard, it must be shown that there are grounds for holding that the conviction is unsafe.
If the judges agree, they can overturn the conviction and order a new trial.
Last month, Letby’s ‘best friend’ Janet Cox, who worked with her in the neonatal unit, told the Mail she still believed the nurse was innocent.
An artist’s impression of a parent of one of Letby’s victims reading a victim impact statement as Mr Justice Goss looks on
Letby’s parents, Susan, 63, and John, 77, had been present every day of her trial but were not at her sentencing
The Court said it had received a request from its legal team.
“I can confirm that an application has been received to appeal the conviction in the Lucy Letby case,” a spokesperson said.
Letby’s attorney, Richard Thomas, declined to comment today.
The Ministry of Health has previously said an independent investigation would be launched into Letby’s case. It will investigate “the circumstances surrounding the deaths and incidents – including how concerns raised by doctors were handled.”
The Criminal Appeal Office said it could not provide information on the grounds for the appeal. No formal hearing has yet been set, the Court said.
Last week it was announced that one of the country’s highest judges, Lady Justice Thirlwall, would lead the investigation into Letby’s crimes.
Health Minister Steve Barclay told MPs that Lady Justice Thirlwall, who currently sits on the Court of Appeal, was a judge and barrister ‘with many years of experience’.
The inquiry will have legal powers to compel witnesses, including former and current staff at the Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, to give evidence.
Letby became only the fourth woman in Britain’s history to be given a life term.
Life sentences are the harshest punishment available in the country’s criminal justice system and are reserved for those who commit the most heinous crimes.
As the most prolific child serial killer in modern British history, the 33-year-old was handed the sentence after prosecutor Nicholas Johnson KC told the court her offense was a ‘very, very clear case’ and a life sentence should be imposed. .
The nurse joins a string of the country’s most dangerous offenders likely to die behind bars, including Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens, necrophile David Fuller and domestic terrorist Ali Harbi Ali who murdered MP Sir David Amess.
A total of 70 criminals are serving life sentences, four of whom are being held in secure hospitals. They will never be considered for release unless there are exceptional, compassionate reasons that justify it.
Only three other women have received such a sentence: the girlfriend of Moorish killer Ian Brady, Myra Hindley – who died in 2002 – and serial killers Rose West and Joanna Dennehy.