Baby Serial Killer Lucy Letby Handed Whole Life Sentence

Patricia Devlin
By Patricia Devlin
August 21, 2023UK
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Baby Serial Killer Lucy Letby Handed Whole Life Sentence
A custody image of Lucy Letby, taken after her arrest in Hereford, England, in November 2020. (Cheshire Constabulary)

Baby serial killer Lucy Letby will die behind bars after a judge sentenced her to serve a whole-life order for the murders and attempted murders of 13 infants.

Handing down the term to the disgraced nurse—who refused to leave her cell to appear before Manchester Crown Court—Mr. Justice Goss described Letby’s crimes as cruel, calculated and “completely contrary to the normal human instincts.”

“There was a malevolence bordering on sadism in your actions,” he said.

“During the course of this trial, you have coldly denied any responsibility for your wrongdoing.

“You have no remorse. There are no mitigating factors.”

Sentencing the 33-year-old to a whole-life order for each offence, including the murders of seven babies, he said, “You will spend the rest of your life in prison.”

Addressing the court on Monday afternoon, Mr. Justice Goss informed those present, including the families of Letby’s many victims, that she had refused to appear in the dock.

He said he would hand down the sentencing remarks as if she were present, and had instructed that a transcript be given to her.

The senior judge also ordered that copies of the victims’ personal statements from the parents of children Letby murdered and maimed be sent to her cell.

The most prolific serial child killer in modern British history was convicted by a jury of murdering seven babies and trying to kill six more while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital neonatal unit between 2015 and 2016.

She becomes only the fourth woman in UK history to receive such a punishment.

Morbid Records

Opening his sentencing remarks, Mr. Justice Goss told Letby in her absence: “You acted in a way that was completely contrary to the normal human instincts of nurturing and caring for babies and in gross breach of the trust that all citizens place in those who work in the medical and caring professions.

“The babies you harmed were born prematurely and some were at risk of not surviving but in each case you deliberately harmed them, intending to kill them.”

He said Letby “relished” being in the intensive care unit where she took an interest in “uncommon” complications and targeted twins and triplets.

The judge said the defendant prided herself on her professionalism which enabled her to start harming children without suspicion.

Mr. Justice Goss said Letby took opportunities to harm babies while staff were on breaks.

He said, “You knew the last thing anyone working in the unit would or did think was that someone caring for the babies was deliberately harming them.”

The judge said handover sheets relating to all but the first four babies were found when police searched Letby’s home.

He said, “I’m satisfied you started to keep these documents after the initial attacks in June 2015 as morbid records of the dreadful events surrounding the collapses of your victims and what you had done to them.”

Describing the impact of her crimes as “immense” the judge said “lifelong harm” had been caused after Letby targeted babies whose lives were cut short “almost as soon as they began.”

He added: “All in horrific circumstances.”

“Loving parents have been robbed of their cherished children.

“You have caused deep psychological trauma.”

NTD Photo
Lucy Letby is led away in handcuffs by police after being arrested at her home in Chester, England, on July 3, 2018. (Cheshire Police)

Coward

Earlier, the families of Letby’s victims addressed an empty dock as they told her “you are nothing” and “you are evil.”

More than a dozen relatives of Letby’s victims sat in the public gallery for the hearing and eight jurors returned to see the sentencing.

In a statement read to the court, the mother of Child A, who was murdered by Letby, and Child B, who she attempted to kill, said, “You thought it was your right to play God with our children’s lives.”

She said after the death of Child A, a boy, they feared for his twin sister and made sure a member of the family was always with her, but “made a mistake” and started to believe what happened to the first child was a “tragic event that couldn’t be stopped.”

She added: “Little did we know you were waiting for us to leave so you could attack the one thing that gave us a reason to carry on in life.”

In the statement, made on behalf of her and her partner, she said: “Maybe you thought by doing this you would be remembered forever but I want you to know my family will never think of you again.

“From this day you are nothing.”

The mother of Child C, a baby boy, choked back tears as she told Letby in her absence: “At least now there is no debate that, in your own words, you killed them on purpose. You are evil. You did this.”

The woman added: “I blame myself entirely for his death. I still live with the guilt that I couldn’t protect him during pregnancy or in his short life.”

The mother of Child I, a premature-born girl, said her husband “wished he was dead, he wished it was him that died” and not their daughter.

“When they handed (Child I) to us we never wanted to let her go, we held her so tight she was our gorgeous little princess and I can’t even begin to explain the pain. When we lost her a part of us died with her,” she said.

The mother of Child E, a premature-born boy who died, and Child F, his twin brother who survived, told the court the nurse’s refusal to appear was “just one final act of wickedness from a coward.”

Law Change Call

Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the serial child killer’s refusal to appear in the dock as “cowardly.”

Asked during a visit to a nursery in North Yorkshire whether the government was too slow in changing the law to force her to be in the dock, he told broadcasters the government was “looking and have been at changing the law to make sure that that happens and that’s something that we’ll bring forward in due course.”

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said the government wants to change the law to compel offenders to attend their sentencing hearings.

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, following Letby’s sentencing, Mr. Chalk said: “Lucy Letby is not just a murderer but a coward, whose failure to face her victims’ families, refusing to hear their impact statements and society’s condemnation, is the final insult.

“We are looking to change the law so offenders can be compelled to attend sentencing hearings.”

However, Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the government of “dragging its heels” over changing the law.

He told reporters on Monday: “I want to see action as quickly as possible in this case because victims’ families have been through the most awful ordeal. They’re entitled to see justice delivered…

“So we need to change the law. I hope the government will do it because I think it can be done very quickly.
“If they don’t, we will force an amendment to the appropriate legislation. But actually, my position is to invite the government to get on with it, to offer Labour’s support so this could go through very, very quickly.”

NTD Photo
A note found in the house of Lucy Letby, the nurse accused of murdering seven babies and trying to kill ten more wrote “I am evil I did this” in capital letters on a piece of paper found after a police search of her house. Photo issued by the CPS on October 13, 2022.

‘Not Good Enough’

Sir Keir also added his voice to a growing number of figures calling for an independent probe into Letby’s crimes to put on a statutory footing.

On Friday, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) ordered a public inquiry into “the wider circumstances around what happened at the Countess of Chester Hospital, including the handling of concerns and governance,” and “what actions were taken by regulators and the wider NHS.”

The inquiry will be non-statutory, which the DHSC said is “the most appropriate.”

However, lawyers representing some of the victims’ families said a non-statutory inquiry was “inadequate” and “not good enough.”

Asked by reporters on Monday if the government has ruled out holding a statutory inquiry, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: “No, I think as you heard the Prime Minister say this morning, we are focused on the outcomes, the most important thing is to make sure families get the answers they need and that it’s possible to learn the lessons, that it’s done transparently and that it happens as quickly as possible.

“And that’s crucial. And obviously, we will have an inquiry on the right footing to achieve that.”

NTD Photo
A screengrab of bodycam footage of Lucy Letby being arrested at her home in Chester, England, on July 3, 2018. (Cheshire Police)

Twisted Killers

Letby has now joined the list of the UK’s most twisted child killers and has become only the fourth woman in UK history to be handed a whole-life order.

Moors murderer Myra Hindley, who died in 2002, and serial killers Rose West and Joanna Dennehy were previously handed the terms.

A total of 70 criminals are serving a whole-life order, four of whom are being held in secure hospitals.

They will never be considered for release, unless there are exceptional compassionate grounds to warrant it.

They include Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens, necrophiliac David Fuller and homegrown terrorist Ali Harbi Ali who murdered MP Sir David Amess.

Gun fanatic Louis De Zoysa was handed such a sentence last month after shooting Metropolitan Police custody sergeant Matt Ratana while handcuffed in a police cell in 2020.

In December, killer Damien Bendall began serving a whole-life order for murdering his partner Terri Harris, 35, her daughter Lacey Bennett, 11, her son John Paul Bennett, 13, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, also 11, who was staying for a sleepover.

A year earlier Fuller was handed the same sentence for the murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in 1987 and the sexual abuse of more than 100 dead women and girls in hospital mortuaries.

Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield is serving two whole-life orders—for her murder, the killings of Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.

Following her sentencing on Monday, Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Evans said the sentence reflects the “true scale and gravity of her horrific crimes” and ensures that a “calculated and dangerous individual is behind bars for a very long time.”

She added: “Nothing will bring back the babies who died or take away the pain and suffering experienced by all of the families over the years but I hope that the significant sentence will bring some comfort at this dark time.

“The victim impact statements read out in court today on behalf of the parents are a chilling reminder of the pain and suffering that each family has had to endure over the years.

“Hearing their own experiences in their own words has been truly heartbreaking.”

PA Media contributed to this report

From The Epoch Times

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