THE nurse charged with the murder of eight babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital has appeared in court.

Healthcare worker Lucy Letby, 30, appeared at Warrington Magistrates Court on Thursday, November 12.

She was charged the previous night by Cheshire Constabulary on eight counts of murder, in relation to the deaths of eight babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

The babies who died were Cemlyn Bennett, Joseph Johnson, Elsie McNall, Barney Gee, Daisy Parkin, Maddie Freed, Joseph Gelder and Eli Gelder.

Letby, of Arran Avenue, Hereford, is also charged with 10 counts of attempted murder, in relation to non-fatal collapses of babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016.

The 10 charges of attempted murder are each of potential victims under one year old, one count of which includes Maddie Freed in February 2016, according to the court list.

Chester and District Standard:

Warrington Magistrates' Court

Letby spoke only to confirm her name, age and address before District Judge Nicholas Sanders.

Only two members of the press were allowed into the courtroom, with a dozen more in an annexe courtroom next door, watching via videolink.

Families of the victims were also watching the proceedings via the same link at remote locations.

District Judge Sanders warned there should be no audio or video recordings of the proceedings.

The court clerk then dialled into Blacon police station, Chester, to see Letby, partly shadowed, sat with her solicitor Richard Thomas waiting for proceedings to begin.

The judge, addressing the defendant, said: “Today’s court hearing is for a number of matters. I won’t be taking any plea today, as I’m sure Mr Thomas has discussed with you.

“These are matters allocated to the crown court, today is a preliminary hearing to send to the crown court.”

She was remanded in custody and will next appear at Chester Crown Court on Friday afternoon (November 13).