UPDATE - UK nurse gets whole-life sentence for murdering 7 babies, attempted to kill 6 others

UPDATE - UK nurse gets whole-life sentence for murdering 7 babies, attempted to kill 6 others

'Impact of Letty’s crime is immense,' and caused 'lifelong harm,' says judge

ADDS MORE DETAILS; REVISES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) – Nurse Lucy Letby has been sentenced to whole life in prison for murdering seven babies and attempting to murder six others in a neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwestern England.

Sentencing Letby, Judge Goss said that the "impact of Letty’s crime is immense,” and caused "lifelong harm."

"There was a deep malevolence bordering on sadism in your actions," he told during the trial in the Manchester Crown Court.

Defining her acts, the judge said that this was "a cruel, calculated, and cynical campaign of child murder."

“During the course of this trial, you have coldly denied any responsibility for your wrongdoing and sought to attribute some fault to others. You have no remorse. There are no mitigating factors,” Goss added.

She received the whole-life sentence, which means she will spend the rest of her life in prison. This is the most severe punishment available in the UK criminal justice system.


- Letby didn't appear in court

Letby did not appear in the court, as the judge said that "accordingly I have to sentence her in her absence."

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that it’s "cowardly that people who commit such horrendous crimes do not face their victims."

Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said they are looking to change the law "so offenders can be compelled to attend sentencing hearings."

"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," he stated on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Meanwhile, Alison Kelly, the former director of nursing at the hospital where Letby murdered the babies, has been suspended from her current position.


- 'Our minds are so traumatized'

During the trial, families of the babies testified in court about the impact the murderer Letby has had on their lives.

Due to reporting restrictions to protect the identities of the babies and families, babies are mentioned by letters only.

"You thought it was your right to play God with our children's lives," said a mother of the Baby A and B.

Her twins were attacked in June 2015 while Baby A was murdered on June 8 and the nurse attempted to kill his sister 28 hours later.

"Our minds are so traumatised it won't let us remember the night you killed our child," their mother added in a statement.


- Arrested in 2018

After a series of partial verdicts over several days, Letby was convicted of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six other infants on Friday.

Following a two-year investigation, Cheshire Police arrested the 33-year-old nurse in July 2018 at her home and initially released her on bail. She was arrested three more times in the following years before being charged in November 2020.

The investigations began when there was an increase in near-fatal collapses and unexplained deaths of premature babies at the hospital she worked as a nurse from June 2015 to June 2016.

When the trial began in October 2022, the prosecution described Letby as a "calculating and devious" opportunist who "gaslighted" colleagues to cover up her "murderous assaults.”

Senior investigating officer Paul Hughes said: "This has been an investigation like no other – in scope, complexity and magnitude. We had to deal with this as 17 separate investigations – we are normally used to dealing with one murder or attempted murder investigation at a time, let alone something on this scale."

A police report showed Letby injected the babies with air and excess milk and poisoned them with insulin.

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