Prolific baby serial killer has been sentenced to life imprisonment

Lucy Letby has become the third woman ever in the UK to be sentenced to life in prison after she murdered seven babies in a Chester-based hospital.  

Labelled as the most ‘sickening’ case to have hit UK headlines, the trial of Lucy Letby has finally reached a verdict. Today Mr Justice Goss ruled at Manchester Crown Court that Letby will be facing a ‘whole life sentence’ behind bars. 

At 12:30pm the judge delivered his verdict despite Letby refusing to leave her hold cell, an act which prompted UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to describe her as a ‘coward’.

The murder trial, which lasted 10 months and is known to be the longest one to run in the UK, detailed the ex-nurse took the lives of seven already-fragile babies, forcing them to suffer acute pain, and attempted to kill a further six in cold blood.  

Her victims included two identical triplet brothers, killed within 24 hours of each other, a newborn weighing less than 1kg and a girl born 10 weeks premature who was murdered on the fourth attempt.  

On day four of the trial, the court was shown a piece of paper on which she had written and stashed away in her home, ‘I don’t deserve to live. I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough.’

To commit these heartbreaking crimes, the 33-year-old, who worked at the Countess of Chester’s Hospital between June 2015 to June 2016, injected babies bloodstream with air, poisoned some with insulin and overfed them with milk. After she had completed her evil acts, the judge today outlined she failed to act enthusiastically when other staff members rushed in to try and resuscitate the helpless infants.

Suspicions around the babies deaths to have been pre-meditated murders began soon after the children had died. Prior to 2015, of the hundreds of babies that passed through the Countess of Chester hospital’s neonatal unit in an average year, only between one and three would sadly pass.

Outside of Manchester Crown Court, bereaved parents of the victims said justice had been served but no conviction would ‘take away from the extreme hurt, anger and distress that we have all had to experience.’

Dr Camilla Kingdon, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child health, said: ‘As a College, we are devastated by these abhorrent crimes at Countess of Chester Hospital and our thoughts and hearts are with the families who have lost their precious babies. No family should have to experience a tragedy such as this. 

‘I know that paediatricians and the whole UK child health community are horrified by what we have learnt from this case and have the greatest sympathy for the front-line staff at Countess of Chester, who have dedicated their careers to treating sick babies and delivering exemplary care.’

Following the exposure of this harrowing case, the police have stated they believe Letby may have harmed more babies during her six-year career as a children’s nurse and have launched a helpline for parents to call to report concerns.

Detectives have asked specialists to analyse the records of more than 4,000 infants born at Liverpool Women’s hospital and the Countess of Chester – the two establishments in which Letby worked between 2010 and 2016.

Against this backdrop, the Department of Health and Social Care have also launched an independent inquiry into the circumstances behind the horrific murders and attempted murders of babies, with an aim to investigate how Letby was able to conduct her campaign, a whistleblower told the Guardian he believed babies would have been saved if hospital executives had acted sooner on concerns about the nurse.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, said: ‘I would like to send my deepest sympathy to all the parents and families impacted by this horrendous case.

‘This inquiry will seek to ensure the parents and families impacted get the answers they need. I am determined their voices are heard, and they are involved in shaping the scope of the inquiry should they wish to do so.

‘Following on from the work already underway by NHS England, it will help us identify where and how patient safety standards failed to be met and ensure mothers and their partners rightly have faith in our healthcare system.’

When Mr Justice Goss announced the sentencing of Letby’s trial today, he began by outlining words she used to deny any allegations that she was responsible for the babies deaths. The judge said Letby claimed harming children is completely against what a nurse stands for and now that she has been found guilty and is destined to die in prison, hopefully nurses will now only care for newborn babies.

Image: PRESS ASSOCIATION VIA AP IMAGES and Cheshire Constabulary/PA


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