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Baby killer nurse in UK sentenced to life in prison for 7 murders

Lucy Letby, 33, a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital, UK, was sentenced to a whole life order or life in prison, after being convicted of the murder of seven infants and attempting to kill six more.

HQ Team

August 22, 2023: Lucy Letby, 33, a nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital, UK, was sentenced to a whole life order or life in prison, after being convicted of the murder of seven infants and attempting to kill six more.

Prosecutors said Ms Letby was a “calculated opportunist” who used the vulnerabilities of premature and sick babies to camouflage her crimes that happened during her shifts between 2015 and 2016.

At the final ruling, Justice James Goss at Manchester Crown Court sentenced her to life in prison. The death penalty is illegal in the UK.

“Over a period of just under 13 months, you killed seven fragile babies and attempted to kill six others. Some of your victims were only a day or a few days old. All were extremely vulnerable,” James Goss ruled.

‘Exceptional seriousness’

“All were in a hospital where others were striving to provide them medical and nursing care by their nature and numbers such murders and attempted murders by a neonatal nurse entrusted to care for them are offences of very exceptional seriousness.”

The judge said the lives of newborn babies were ended as soon as they began and lifelong harm had been caused to all in horrific circumstances. 

Loving parents were robbed of their innocent children and “others have to live with the physical and mental consequences of your actions.”

“Siblings have been deprived of their brothers and sisters. You have caused deep psychological trauma and caused enduring grief and feelings of guilt. It is no part of my actions to determine the cause of your underlying actions, they are known only to you.

‘Malevolence and sadism’

“I must just pass an appropriate sentence…. There was deep malevolence and sadism in your actions. During the course of this trial you have completely denied any responsibility for your wrongdoing and sought to attribute some fault to others. You have no remorse and there are no mitigating factors in their toughness and just punishment according to law requires a whole life order.”

The first murder occurred on June 8, 2015, when Ms Letby injected air into Baby A’s bloodstream, less than an hour after she was made his designated nurse. The very next day she attempted to murder the twin sister of Baby A.

Ms Letby killed Baby C on June 14, 2015, by injecting air into his stomach through his nose tube. Eight days later, she murders Baby D — in a similar way she snuffed out Baby A’s life.

In June an internal review by the neonatal ward at the hospital started investigating the deaths. 

On August 4,  2015, Ms Letby injected air into the bloodstream of Baby E and he died. Another murder was attempted in August 2015 on Baby F and Baby G in September. The Baby G girl was “severely disabled.”

Pumped air into infant’s stomach

In September and October, she tried to kill Baby 1 twice. An expert paediatrician who reviewed the case concluded deterioration was consistent with the deliberate administration of a large amount of air into her stomach via a nasogastric tube.

Finally, on October 23, she succeeds in killing Baby 1. Senior doctors tried to raise the alarm with senior management, but no one believed anyone was deliberately harming babies.

In April, 2016, Ms Letby attempted to kill babies L and M. In June there was another attempt on Baby N.

Removal from neonatal unit

On June 23 she kills Baby O and the very next day Baby P is killed. Ms Letby, in July, was removed from the unit following the death of triplet brothers. In September she put in a formal grievance about her removal. In May Cheshire Police to assist with the ongoing review.

Ms Letby was arrested on July 3 on suspicion of eight counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder. In June was arrested again and let out on bail. The final arrest happened on November 10, 2020.

Ms Letby denied the murders during the ten-month trial at Manchester Crown Court. When the final verdict was read she refused to attend court.

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