THE proposed trial date for a nurse accused of the murder and attempted murder of babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital has been delayed by six months.

Lucy Letby, 31, appeared at the hearing via videolink from HMP Peterborough on Monday, May 17, for what was a further case management hearing before Mr Justice Ian Dove.

But, in a hearing beset by technical difficulties, with persistent microphone feedback preventing people from being heard on the videolinks, Justice Dove had no option but to adjourn the hearing before matters had been concluded.

Letby is alleged to have murdered five baby boys and three baby girls while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

She is also accused of the attempted murder of five baby boys and five baby girls, all between June 2015 and June 2016.

Letby, of Arran Avenue, Hereford, was arrested in 2018 and 2019 as part of the police investigation at the hospital, which began in 2017.

She has yet to enter a plea to the charges, and Monday's court hearing was not planning to arraign her on those matters.

Letby, wearing a dark-coloured top and blue jeans, relayed to the court she could not hear proceedings at Liverpool Crown Court, where Justice Dove and the prosecution were speaking, but could hear her defence representative Ben Myers QC, who was speaking from Manchester Crown Court.

Mr Myers had explained the original proposed trial date of January 2022 "cannot be met", and this was the view of both the prosecution and defence.

A new date for the beginning of the trial of July 2022 was suggested.

Before the hearing was adjourned, Justice Dove had indicated to the court he was content for the proposed trial date, in the event Letby pleads not guilty, to be July 2022.

The hearing was adjourned until later in the week so technical difficulties could be resolved.