When she is sentenced on Monday, Lucy Letby—the most prolific child serial killer in contemporary British history—is anticipated to spend the rest of her life in prison.
Between 2015 and 2016, while employed at the neonatal section at the Countess of Chester Hospital, the nurse murdered seven babies and attempted to kill six more.
She has entered the list of the UK’s most depraved child murders, which also includes Beverley Allitt, the so-called Angel of Death paediatric nurse, and the Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
Letby, 33, may receive a lifetime order from Manchester Crown Court’s Mr. Justice Goss.
For those who commit the most heinous crimes, whole-life orders are the worst sanction attainable under the UK criminal justice system.
Letby is permitted to be present in court even though she previously stated she had no plans to return to the dock, participate in her sentence hearing, or watch the proceedings by video link from behind bars.
Mr. Justice Goss ruled that the court lacks the authority to compel a defendant to appear at a sentencing hearing, but a government source said that, in the event that it is deemed essential, reasonable, and proportionate, “lawful enforcement” might be employed as a last resort to ensure Letby’s attendance.
“Lucy Letby should be in court to hear society’s condemnation of the enormity of her crimes, expressed by the judge,” the source told the PA news agency.
“If that requires the use of lawful enforcement, so be it. If she continues to refuse, that will only strengthen our resolve to change the law as soon as we can.”
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk stated earlier this year that the government is “committed” to amending the law to require offenders to appear at their sentencing hearings.
Robert Buckland, a former justice secretary, advocated having Letby’s absence from the sentencing played into her cell and demanding that she hear the victim testimonies from the relatives of the babies she killed.
“She needs to hear the victim’s personal statements, as impact statements that will really bring home I think, to the wider world, the appalling devastating impact of the loss of these innocent children, these innocent babies, have had upon dozens of families,” Mr Buckland told GB News.
Meanwhile, the head of the Health Select Committee for the Conservative Party has called for a statutory investigation into Letby’s crimes to be overseen by judges.
Steve Brine voiced fear that the non-statutory independent probe the government proposed might take years to complete and “disappear down a rabbit hole” because it won’t have the authority to compel witnesses.
Additionally, police have been encouraged to look into hospital administrators for possible corporate manslaughter.
According to the Observer, the chief medical witness for the prosecution, retired consultant paediatrician Dewi Evans, plans to write to Cheshire Constabulary and request that they look into the “grossly negligent” management for failing to take action when Letby was on a killing spree.
If hospital administration had listened to concerns about Letby earlier and taken action, according to consultants who raised them as early as 2015, babies would have been saved.
Dr. Stephen Brearey, lead consultant of the newborn section at the Countess of Chester Hospital, first brought up Letby’s connection to a rise in infant falls in June 2015.
According to him, deaths may have been prevented starting in February 2016 if management had “responded appropriately” to a doctor’s call for an urgent meeting.
Just in 2017, the police were called.
On July 3, 2018, at 6 a.m., Letby was taken into custody at her semi-detached Chester home in Westbourne Road.
Several carefully written notes were found at her address while searches were being conducted there.
On one note she wrote “I don’t deserve to live. I killed them on purpose because I’m not good enough to care for them”, “I am a horrible evil person” and in capital letters “I am evil I did this”.
Jurors were asked to interpret the note “literally” as a confession by the prosecutor, Nick Johnson KC.
He claimed that because of her “voyeuristic tendencies,” she conducted many Facebook searches for the parents of the kids she abused.
She injured the infants in a number of ways, including by overfeeding them with milk, physically abusing them, and poisoning them with insulin. She also injected air into their stomachs and bloodstreams.
Letby, who vehemently rejected all of the accusations, lied about her medical records to hide her tracks and deceived medical professionals into believing that the falls were “just a run of bad luck” for them.
Following a trial that started in October of last year, the jury’s deliberations, which lasted 22 days and 110 hours and 26 minutes, came to an end on Friday.
Letby was found guilty on seven counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder in connection with six additional newborns by the jury, which included seven women and four men.
According to Cheshire Police, an investigation into the treatment of almost 4,000 infants who were taken to the Countess of Chester and Liverpool Women’s Hospital during Letby’s employment from 2012 is still ongoing.
If a prisoner has been handed a life sentence, their release will never be considered unless there are exceptional compassionate reasons to do so.
The Government has increased the use of whole-life orders for the deliberate murder of a child under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which was approved by Parliament last year.
Only three women—serial killers Rose West and Joanna Dennehy as well as Hindley, who passed away in 2002—have ever received a whole-life order, also known as a whole-life tariff.