UK: Infanticide: Nurse sentenced to life imprisonment

Neonatal nurse convicted for killing seven newborns was given a life sentence without possibility of release.
UK: Infanticide: Nurse sentenced to life imprisonment

A neonatal nurse in the UK has been sentenced to life in prison for without parole for the murder of seven newborns, and the attempted murder of another six.

Lucy Letby targeted newborns in her care at a hospital in northwest England between 2015 and 2016. The 33-year-old is known as the worst serial killer of children in modern UK history.

After a ten-month trial, Letby was found guilty last Friday of the “persistent, calculated and cold-blooded” killings of two girls and five boys when she worked in Cheshire hospital.

Letby used cruel techniques like forcing air into infants' bodies and force-feeding newborns. The former nurse obstructed infants' feeding tubes in multiple cases.

Letby appeared to target siblings, killing two of three babies in a set of triplets and attacking three sets of twins.

In late June 2016, Letby was removed of her front-line responsibilities and arrested at her residence, later in July 2018.

At Letby’s house, police discovered documents on babies who had collapsed. After the killings, Letby had conducted tens of thousands of online searches to learn more about the parents, according to the investigators.

Additionally, a horrifying confession was found in her home: "I killed them on purpose because I'm not good enough to care for them," she wrote. "I am a horrible, evil person."

Senior Crown Prosecutor Pascale Jones told in a statement that Letby made a concerted effort to hide her crimes, and called her actions a "complete betrayal of the trust placed in her."

“[She] passed off the harm she caused as nothing more than a worsening of each baby’s existing vulnerability.”

After a number of high-profile inmates choosing not to appear in front of their victims in court, politicians and victim advocates have urged for changes in the law calling criminals to appear for punishment.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the acts as "shocking and harrowing," and he promised that his country would present a proposal to have inmates present at their sentencing hearings in "due course."

“It’s cowardly that people who commit such horrendous crimes do not face their victims and hear first-hand the impact that their crimes have had on them and their families and loved ones,” the PM said.

Letby's name was initially brought up in connection with a number of infant deaths in the middle of 2015, consultants at the neonatal unit where she worked told UK media this week.

An independent review of the hospital’s neonatal unit in 2016 flagged insignificant staffing and management issues.


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