British neonatal nurse sentenced to life for murdering 7 babies, attempted murder of 6

Lucy Letby, 33, received the harshest possible sentence under British law.

Published: August 21, 2023 10:02am

Former neonatal nurse Lucy Letby was sentenced Monday to life in prison without a chance of release after she murdered seven babies under her care and attempted to murder six more at a northern England hospital.

Letby, 33, refused to appear in court as the grieving parents discussed their struggles following the murders of their children in the neonatal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital between June 2015 and June 2016, The Associated Press reported.

"There was a malevolence bordering on sadism in your action," Justice James Gross said as he handed down the most severe possible sentence under British law. "During the course of this trial you have coldly denied any responsibility for your wrongdoing. You have no remorse. There are no mitigating factors."

The jury deliberated for 22 days before delivering the guilty verdict against Letby on Friday.

Letby also did not appear in court to hear the jury's conclusion that she killed five infant boys and two girls at the hospital through insulin poisoning, injections of air into their blood vessels and forcing air or milk into their stomachs, according to The New York Post.

The mother of one of the murdered baby girls said in court: "I don’t think we will ever get over the fact that our daughter was tortured till she had no fight left in her and everything she went through over her short life was deliberately done by someone who was supposed to protect her and help her come home where she belonged."

After being removed from her position in 2016, Letby was arrested at her home in July 2018. 

Defense attorney Ben Myers said his client maintained her innocence and he could not add anything to reduce her sentence.

Although British courts allow defendants to skip appearing at sentencing proceedings, Letby's absence sparked anger from the families of the victims. Politicians and advocates have demanded changes in the law to force convicts to appear in court.

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