Blocked Lucy Letby article 'defies open justice', warns David Davis

The New Yorker article which questions the evidence used to convict Letby is blocked in the UK.

Lucy Letby denies murdering five boys and two girls, and attempting to murder another five boys and five girls, between June 2015 and June 2016. (SWNS)
Lucy Letby was convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others (SWNS).

A Conservative former minister has criticised the fact an article about child serial killer Lucy Letby is not available to read in the UK, as he argued this is “in defiance of open justice”.

The article published in the New Yorker magazine questioned the evidence used in the trial which convicted Letby of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others.

Sir David Davis called on the government to review the court order which blocks those in the UK from accessing the article.

The Haltemprice and Howden MP told the Commons: “Yesterday the New Yorker magazine published a 13,000-word inquiry into the Lucy Letby trial.

“That article was blocked from publication on the UK internet, I understand because of a court order. Now, I’m sure that court order was well intended but it seems to me in defiance of open justice.

“Will the Lord Chancellor look into this matter and report back to the House?”

Conservative MP David Davis takes part in the launch of a proposed UK-EU free trade agreement in London on February 6, 2019. - Plans for Britain to leave the European Union on March 29 under a withdrawal agreement signed last year were thrown into doubt when British lawmakers rejected the accord. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Sir David Davis has called on the government to review the court order which blocks the article in the UK. (Getty)

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk replied: “Court orders must be obeyed and court orders can be displaced by someone applying to court for them to be removed. So that will need to take place in the normal course of events.

“I will just simply make a point on the Lucy Letby case – that jury’s verdict must be respected. If there are grounds for an appeal, that should take place in the normal way.”

In August last year, Letby, of Hereford, was convicted of the murders which took place at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit, where she worked as a nurse, between June 2015 and June 2016.

The 34-year-old has submitted a bid to challenge her convictions at the Court of Appeal.

CHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 3: In this frame from a police body-camera video provided by Cheshire Constabulary, Lucy Letby is arrested on July 3, 2018 in Chester, England.  Letby, a former nurse at Countess of Cheshire Hospital, was convicted on August 18, 2023 of murdering seven babies, and attempting to murder six more, in the hospital's neonatal ward between 2015 and 2016. She was found not guilty of two counts of attempted murder, while the jury did not reach verdicts on six further counts of attempted murder. (Handout photo by Cheshire Constabulary via Getty Images)
Lucy Letby is arrested on 3 July 2018. (Getty)

If judges decline to give the go-ahead for the challenge, it will mark the end of the appeal process for Letby.

The jury in Letby’s trial at Manchester Crown Court was unable to reach verdicts on six counts of attempted murder in relation to five children.

She will face a retrial at the same court in June on a single count that she attempted to murder a baby girl, known as Child K, in February 2016.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children who were the subject of the allegations.