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Killer British nurse Letby refused permission to appeal conviction

FILE PHOTO: Lucy Letby court case

LONDON (Reuters) - British nurse Lucy Letby, who was found guilty of murdering seven babies and trying to kill six others, has been denied initial permission to appeal her conviction, a judicial spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Letby was found guilty last year of killing five baby boys and two baby girls at the neonatal unit of Countess of Chester hospital in northern England over 13 months from 2015, injecting the infants with insulin or air or force-feeding them milk.

The 34-year-old, Britain's worst serial child killer in modern history, was sentenced to a whole-life order, meaning she will never be released from prison, but she launched an appeal in September.

"An application by Lucy Letby to appeal against her convictions has been refused by a judge who considered the case papers," the judicial spokesperson said.

Letby has 14 days to renew her appeal bid and if she does, a hearing would be held in court with three judges deciding whether to allow it to proceed, the spokesperson added.

(Reporting by Michael Holden and Sam Tobin; Editing by Mark Porter)