Lucy Letby trial: Former nurse's status as a multiple murderer is important evidence, jury told

Lucy Letby's status as a multiple murderer and attempted murderer is an "important piece of the evidence" when deciding if the former nurse tried to kill another infant, a jury has been told.

Letby, 34, is on trial at Manchester Crown Court accused of the attempted murder of a baby girl known as Child K on 17 February 2016 when she worked as a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital's neonatal unit.

She has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Last summer, the defendant was convicted in a "very long trial" of seven murders and seven attempted murders relating to six other children, the court heard.

Opening the case on Wednesday, prosecutor Nick Johnson KC told jurors: "Those other cases that I have mentioned do have an importance in this case because we suggest it's not because you should convict her because of what she's done in other cases, but what we are asserting is the relevance that it gives you significant evidence of what her intention was at the time. We say, we allege, she did things, or something to, [Child K].

"Putting it in a nutshell, we are saying that her status as a multiple murderer and attempted murderer is an important piece of the evidence that you can, if you wish, take into account when you are considering whether we have made you sure that she attempted to murder [Child K]."

Jurors in the previous trial failed to reach a verdict regarding the allegation.

Letby, of Hereford, watched on from the dock as the prosecutor addressed the jury.

Before 17 February 2016, Mr Johnson said Letby had already murdered five children and attempted to murder three others - including two attempts on one baby girl - on various dates between June 2015 and October 2015.

After February 17 she went on to attempt to murder twin boys in April 2016, attempted to murder another boy in June 2016, and murdered two triplet boys later that month, he said.

On Tuesday, the jury was sworn in and told to disregard Letby's convictions for murdering a number of babies and the attempted murders of others.

Trial judge Mr Justice Goss told jurors it was "highly likely" they would know something about the case.

He told them to decide on the present case "on the evidence placed before you and nothing else".

"You will try this case, I repeat, on the evidence that is placed before you," he said.

"You are the sole judges of fact. You will decide what is and what is not truthful from the evidence and the conclusions and assessments you draw from the evidence."

He added: "Anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. It is for the prosecution to prove guilt by making you sure of the accused's guilt.

"You know that the defendant has already been tried before another jury.

"You are to try the defendant in this case on a charge of attempted murder upon which that jury could not agree and were discharged from giving a verdict.

"I repeat, you will decide the case on the evidence placed before you and nothing else."

The trial continues.