Lucy Letby, the nurse who murdered babies, was sentenced to life imprisonment: the harsh speech of the magistrate who sentenced her

Lucy Letby

A British court on Monday sentenced life imprisonment the british nurse found guilty of murder of seven newborns and other attempted murdersa case that has shocked the United Kingdom.

Lucy Letby33, was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release, a very rare sentence under English law.

Acted in a way totally contrary to normal human instincts who are taking care of babies and in flagrant breach of trust that all citizens deposit in health professionals ”, declared the judge of the Manchester court (north) James Goss.

Due to the “exceptional gravity” of the crimes, “he will spend the rest of his days in jail”, he sentenced. The reading of the sentence was broadcast live on television.

The court had already found Letby guilty of the murder of seven premature newborns on Friday, as well as six attempted murders at the hospital where he worked.

The woman, described by the prosecution as “cold, calculating, cruel and tenacious”, refused to be present during the final hearing and claimed his innocence throughout the trial, which began in October 2022.

It is “cowardly that those who commit such horrendous crimes do not face their victims”, reacted British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Lucy Letby in a mugshot (via Reuters)
Lucy Letby in a mugshot (via Reuters) (CHESHIRE CONSTABULARY /)

Letby worked in the intensive care unit at the Countess of Chester hospital in north-west England, where the murders took place between June 2015 and June 2016.

The woman injected air into babies intravenously and through nasogastric tubes, and administered an overdose of milk.

“He destroyed our lives”

During the process, a mother explained how, returning to deliver milk to one of her premature twins in August 2015, she had heard him scream and discovered that he had blood around his mouth. Letby reassured her and advised her to go up to her room.

According to the accusation, the nurse had just inserted a medical device all the way down the baby’s throat. She had also injected him with air. The newborn died a few hours later.

Letby attacked babies after their parents had leftwhen the charge nurse was not there or at night, when she was left alone.

Sometimes he participated in the collective efforts to save newborns and even helped desperate parents. Also wrote letters to bereaved parents.

Lucy Letby, during her questioning, in Chester (via Reuters)
Lucy Letby, during her questioning, in Chester (via Reuters) (Cheshire Police /)

You thought it was your right to play God with our children’s lives”, declared the mother of twins attacked in June 2015 before the court. The boy was killed while his older sister survived.

The father of two brothers killed by the nurse said: “Lucy Letby destroyed our lives”.

“The hatred I have for her will never go away,” he continued, in a pre-recorded video played in court.

Transferred to an administrative service in June 2016, Letby was first arrested in 2018, and then in 2019. She was finally imprisoned in November 2020.

unanswered questions

After ten months of trial, there are still shadows about his motivations. Investigators found written notes in their homes. In one of them, he had written: “I’m devilish, I did it”. But in others she claimed his innocence.

Journalists work near a large screen showing an image of nurse Lucy Letby, before her sentencing (Reuters)
Journalists work near a large screen that shows an image of nurse Lucy Letby, before her sentence (Reuters) (PHIL NOBLE /)

The ruling “will not prevent the extreme pain, anger and suffering that we have all felt,” the families of the victims reacted in a statement. “Perhaps we will never know why this happened,” they added.

One of the questions that remain unresolved is why letby wasn’t arrested soonerwhen the British press indicated that a group of doctors had issued alerts since 2015.

The hospital management, concerned about the center’s reputation, would not have listened to them or would have decided not to act, according to the press.

The government, for its part, announced the opening of an independent investigation to clarify “the circumstances behind the horrible murders and assassination attempts.”

The police also continue to analyze thousands of cases with the aim of identifying other possible victims.

(With information from AFP)

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