The murder trial of Lucy Letby is one of the longest in Britain as the jury of eight women and four men sat for 145 days hearing testimony from hundreds of witnesses and reading thousands of pages of notes
- The trial of murderous nurse Lucy Letby began in Manchester in October last year
The eight women and four men on the jury faced harrowing evidence for 145 days – making it one of the longest murder trials in UK history.
For more than nine months, they listened to 246 witnesses, including parents, doctors, nurses and experts, who spent thousands of hours testifying, at times harrowing, how tiny, vulnerable preterm babies were murdered and injured.
Two of the jurors suffered grief during the trial, which began October 4, causing the trial to be adjourned for days and sometimes weeks. Other days were also missed for personal events and medical appointments, which lengthened the length of their public service.
Witnesses came to testify from across the UK and around the world, including several testifying via video link from Australia and Switzerland.
The jury hearing the case of murderous nurse Lucy Letby spent more than 145 days hearing evidence in one of the longest murder trials in Britain’s history
Two of the jurors suffered grief during the trial, which began October 4, causing the trial to be adjourned for days and sometimes weeks. Pictured is a sketch of Letby in court
The trial took place at Manchester Crown Court and lasted almost ten months
What was special about the study was that it was carried out almost entirely digitally. Although the jury was given a small paper jury pack, most of the information, including thousands of pages of medical records and breastfeeding notes for each individual baby, was uploaded to individual iPads, allowing them quick and easy access to the relevant documents.
Detective Superintendent Paul Hughes, Chief Investigator for Cheshire Police, commended the jury for giving nearly ten months of their lives to such an important case and bringing justice to the babies’ families.
“They gave everything,” he said. “They listened carefully, were focused and stuck with it. I’m really proud of them for what they did for the parents in helping them seek justice.”
Although fraud and drug trials are known to be lengthy, it is unusual for a murder trial to last this long. However, Letby’s was not the longest in British legal history.
This award goes to the jury in the trial of the so-called “Cardiff Three” – Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi and Stephen Miller – who were wrongly convicted of the November 1990 murder of sex worker Lynette White, 20. at Swansea Crown Court lasted 197 days.
The trio’s convictions were subsequently ruled unsafe and overturned by the Court of Appeal due to allegations of police corruption.
Advances in DNA finally helped police catch the real killer, security guard Jeffrey Gafoor, 58, who confessed to killing Miss White after a £30 argument on Valentine’s Day in 1988. He was arrested in July 2003.