An English nurse named Lucy Letby has been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the murders of seven newborns. This exceptionally severe sentence reflects the horror caused by the crimes committed by the worst child killer in modern UK history.
She took the lives of seven infants and will spend the rest of her life behind bars. Lucy Letby was sentenced on Monday, August 21 to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
The gravity of the sentence is commensurate with the terror caused by her crimes: this English nurse is the worst known child killer in the history of the United Kingdom.
Aged 33, Lucy Letby had been found guilty on Friday, August 18 by the Manchester court of the murder of seven premature newborns and six attempted murders in the hospital where she worked.
On Monday, the young woman was sentenced to a rare whole life tariff in English law, while questions remain about the extent of her crimes.
“You acted in a way which was totally contrary to normal human instincts, which are to care for babies, and in flagrant breach of the trust that all citizens place in healthcare professionals,” said Judge James Goss, describing her crimes as a “cruel, calculated, and cynical campaign.”
Due to the “exceptional seriousness” of the crimes, “you will spend the rest of your life in prison,” he added.
This woman, “cold, calculating, cruel, and persistent” according to the prosecution, had proclaimed her innocence throughout her lengthy and grueling trial, which began in October 2022. She worked in the intensive care unit of the Countess of Chester Hospital in northwest England.
The murders took place between June 2015 and June 2016. She injected air into premature newborns intravenously, used nasal gastric tubes to introduce air or an overdose of milk into their stomachs.
“I am evil”
Lucy Letby targeted babies after their parents left, when the responsible nurse was away, or at night when she was alone. She sometimes joined collective efforts to save newborns and even assisted desperate parents. She wrote cards to grieving parents.
During the trial, a mother recounted returning to give milk to one of her premature twins in August 2015, hearing him scream, and finding blood around his mouth. She had been reassured by Lucy Letby.
According to the prosecution, the nurse had just pushed medical equipment into the tiny baby’s throat and also injected air into him. He died a few hours later.
Already absent from the court when she was found guilty on Friday, Lucy Letby refused to attend the pronouncement of her sentence, which was broadcast live on British television.
This refusal has sparked frustration and anger from the families of the victims, who wanted Lucy Letby to listen to their final testimonies.
“When you have committed such horrible crimes, it is cowardly not to confront the victims,” said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday.
“At least now, there is no more debate about the fact that, in your own words, you intentionally killed them. You are evil,” said a grieving mother in court on Monday.
These statements refer to handwritten notes found on Lucy Letby, on which she wrote, “I am evil, I did it.” On other notes, she claimed her innocence.
Transferred to an administrative role in June 2016, arrested for the first time in 2018, and then in 2019, Lucy Letby was incarcerated in November 2020. Her motivations remain unclear despite the ten-month trial.
Since Friday, August 18, questions have multiplied, particularly regarding Lucy Letby not being arrested earlier.
According to the British press, doctors had raised alarms as early as 2015, but the hospital management did not listen or take action for fear of damaging the institution’s reputation.
The police continue to investigate thousands of files in search of any additional victims of Lucy Letby.
On Sunday evening, The Guardian reported that the police are investigating dozens of “suspect” incidents involving 30 babies at the hospital where she worked.