Baby killer nurse Lucy Letby’s trial nearly collapsed after malicious phone call

Lucy Letby’s first trial for the murders of multiple newborns almost collapsed when a malicious caller phoned to claim one of the jurors was biased against her, it has emerged.

The phone call, which could have bought Letby months more freedom from prosecution had the trial been called off, claimed a male juror had visited a shop and told the owner that the jury had “made up their minds about her from the start”. It was received by Manchester Crown Court midway through the jury’s deliberations last August.

When Letby’s defence barrister, Ben Myers KC, applied to appeal Letby’s convictions in April this year, he cited this “juror irregularity” as a reason why the conviction was unsafe and should be overturned. The appeal was comprehensively rejected on all four grounds.

Letby was convicted in August 2023 of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others while working in the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit between June 2015 and June 2016. She was yesterday found guilty of an attempt to murder Baby K, after a retrial was ordered on the single count when a verdict couldn’t be reached in the first trial.

Media restrictions have prevented the media from reporting the details of the defence’s appeal against Letby’s conviction – including the “juror irregularity” – until today. After Letby’s retrial has resulted in one more conviction, the details of the appeal have now been released.

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