Lucy Letby: Timeline of killer nurse’s attacks on babies and investigation

Lucy Letby has been sentenced to a whole-life order for the attempted murder of a seventh baby - a year after she was given 14 whole-life terms for murder of seven babies and attempted murder of six others.

The 34-year-old nurse was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court of the attack on the newborn infant during a night shift at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neo-natal unit in February 2016.

Last August, she was convicted at the same court by another jury of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others at the unit between June 2015 and June 2016.

Here are the key dates surrounding the investigation into Lucy Letby:

8 June 2015 - MURDER: Child A is born six weeks premature and given to Letby on her night shift. He “deteriorates rapidly” and dies within 90 minutes of Letby coming on duty.

8-11 June - ATTEMPTED MURDER: Child A’s twin sister, Child B, is injected with air by Letby - and survives after being resuscitated.

14 Jun - MURDER: Child C, born seven weeks premature, dies as a result of air being injected into his stomach. Letby is seen standing over his monitor as his alarm sounds.

22 June - MURDER : Child D, a full-term baby girl, dies 36 hours after her birth at the Countess of Chester Hospital. Letby had injected air into the child’s bloodstream.

End of June/July: A meeting takes place between neonatal lead consultant Dr Stephen Brearey and director of nursing Alison Kelly, along with other bosses, to discuss an informal review undertaken by Dr Brearey of Child D’s death. His findings reveal an “association” with nurse Lucy Letby and her presence at the recent collapses.

4 August - MURDER: Child E dies after air is injected into his bloodstream. The baby’s mother interrupts Letby in her attack, but doesn’t realise it.

5 August - ATTEMPTED MURDER : Blood sugar levels of a prematurely born baby boy, Child F, fall dangerously low, and a blood sample is sent for tests at the Royal Liverpool Hospital. The baby survives.

7 September - ATTEMPTED MURDER: Baby G left severely disabled by Letby, who tries to murder her twice, the second instance on 21 September, through air via her nasogastic tube.

23 October - MURDER: Child I, a prematurely born girl, dies on the unit. Concerns are raised again by some consultants in an email.

8 February 2016: A “thematic” review by an independent neonatologist based at Liverpool Women’s Hospital takes place. The review, requested by Dr Brearey, does not find a reason for the increased number of deaths and collapses, but concerns remain over Letby as the report is forwarded to nursing director Ms Kelly and medical director Ian Harvey.

17 February - ATTEMPTED MURDER: Child K taken to neo-natal unit’s intensive care room after being born premature. Letby seen dislodging breathing tube from baby. Baby taken to hospital and dies three days later.

9 April - ATTEMPTED MURDER x 2: Another youngster, Child L, suffers a hypoglycaemic episode in which his blood sugar level plunges. At around the same time, his twin brother, Child M, unexpectedly collapses and requires full resuscitation before he recovers. A blood sample from Child L is sent for tests at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

3 June - ATTEMPTED MURDER: Child N, a newborn boy with haemophilia, attacked by Letby who thrusts nasogastic tube into his throat.

24 June - MURDER x 2: Child P, one of a set of triplet boys, collapses and dies a day after the death on the unit of his newborn brother, Child O. Dr Brearey phones the duty executive on call, Karen Rees, a senior nurse in the urgent care division, to say that he and his consultant colleagues do not want Letby to work her next scheduled shift on 25 June, but she rejects the plea.

25 June - ATTEMPTED MURDER: Ninety minutes into Letby’s day shift, Child Q, a prematurely born boy, needs breathing support after his blood oxygen levels and heart rate plummet. He goes on to make a full recovery.

29 June: Consultants meet to discuss recent “inexplicable” events and then urge hospital bosses to remove Letby from the unit as a safety measure.

30 June: Letby works her last nursing shift on the neonatal unit.

7 July: Hospital bosses reduce the neonatal unit service by cutting cot spaces and increasing the gestational age limit for admission from a minimum of 27 to 32 weeks.

15 July: An email is sent to all nursing staff informing them that they will each undergo a period of clinical supervision – after medical director Mr Harvey asked the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) to conduct a review of the unit’s service. The email states: “Lucy has agreed to undergo this supervision first on Monday 18th July.”

19 July: Letby starts an administrative post in the hospital’s Patient Experience Team.

7 September: Letby registers a formal grievance procedure against her employer. Around this time, the Royal College of Nursing union informs her by letter about allegations surrounding her involvement in a number of deaths.

November 2016: The RCPCH says it found no obvious factors linking a total of eight deaths in the neonatal unit in 2015 and five deaths up to July 2016. However, it did uncover significant gaps in medical and nursing rotas, and insufficient staffing for the provision of longer-term high dependency and some intensive care.

18 May 2017: Cheshire Police announce they have launched an investigation following “a greater number of baby deaths and collapses” at the hospital between June 2015 and June 2016. The probe will focus on eight deaths and will also review seven further deaths and six non-fatal collapses.

3 July 2018: Letby is arrested at her home in Westbourne Road, Chester, at 6am, and officers search the three-bedroom property. Searches also take place at her parents’ home in Hereford and her place of work in the hospital’s Risk and Patient Safety Office. Police say the investigation has widened to 17 deaths and 15 non-fatal collapses between March 2015 and July 2016.

10 June 2019: Letby is re-arrested at her parents’ home.

10 November 2020: Letby is arrested again before she is charged, and appears in court for the first time two days later.

4 October 2022: Letby goes on trial at Manchester Crown Court accused of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of 10 others.

21 August 2023: Letby given 14 whole-life terms after being found guilty by a jury of murdering seven babies and the attempted murder of six others. She was found not guilty of two counts of attempted murder. Verdicts not reached on six counts of attempted murder.

24 May 2024: Letby loses her bid to appeal her murder and attempted murder convictions.

12 June: Retrial starts over an attempted murder charge jury could not reach a verdict on in the previous trial.

2 July: Letby found guilty of attempted murder of Child K.

5 July: Letby sentenced to a whole-life order for the attempted murder of Child K.