Neonatal nurse Lucy Letby, identified as the UK’s most prolific child serial killer in modern British history, has been sentenced to spend the rest of her life behind bars.
The 33-year-old was found guilty of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six other infants at the Countess of Chester Hospital. The heinous acts she committed included injecting babies with air, force-feeding them milk, and poisoning some with insulin.
Letby, who refused to appear in court for her sentencing hearing, received multiple whole-life sentences, making her only the fourth woman in UK history to receive such a punishment. Whole-life orders are reserved for the most heinous crimes, indicating that she will spend her entire life in prison.
Justice Goss condemned Letby’s “cruelty and calculation” during the period between June 2015 and June 2016 as “truly horrific.” He highlighted the profound breach of trust that healthcare professionals are entrusted with and emphasized the malevolence present in her actions.
The judge revealed that handover sheets related to all but the initial four babies were discovered at Letby’s residence, indicating her morbid record-keeping of her crimes. Her actions were characterized by “a malevolence bordering on sadism,” according to Justice Goss.
Despite the emotional impact on the victims’ families and the harrowing evidence presented in court, Letby maintained her innocence throughout the proceedings. This stance left her legal team with no mitigating factors to present during sentencing.
The victim impact statements from grieving parents were read in court, painting a heart-wrenching picture of the lasting devastation Letby’s actions had on their lives. Some parents described her as “evil” and “wicked,” with emotions ranging from horror to disbelief.
Letby’s parents, who attended her trial, were absent from the sentencing hearing. The families of the victims expressed their ongoing protection and vigilance, reflecting the profound impact of Letby’s actions.
This case has sparked discussions about the need for legislation compelling convicted criminals to face their victims during sentencing hearings. Both politicians and legal experts have stressed the importance of accountability and the opportunity for victims’ families to confront the perpetrators.
As an inquiry into the circumstances of Letby’s killing spree is initiated, concerns have arisen regarding the inquiry’s effectiveness, as it lacks the power to compel witnesses to provide evidence. The neonatal unit’s lead consultant has accused hospital bosses of not acting on allegations and attempting to silence doctors, which warrants investigation.