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21st Aug 2023

Lucy Letby: Serial killer nurse will die in jail after receiving whole life order

She refused to appear for sentencing.

Lucy Letby has been sentenced to a whole-life order, meaning the serial killer will never be released from jail.

The former NHS nurse, who refused to appear for sentencing on Monday, became only the fourth woman to ever be given the order in the UK, joining the ranks of mass murderers Myra Hindley, Rose West, and Joanna Dennehy.

The 33-year-old was convicted on Friday of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six others while working at Countess of Chester Hospital. It made her the most prolific child serial killer in modern British history.

The judge detailed how Letby killed each of her victims. Letby made attempts to kill one baby, referred to in court as Baby G, even doing so as nurses celebrated her 100th day of life, by making a banner.

“You made a further attempt to kill her through overfeeding, causing her to projectile vomit and stop breathing. Baby G suffered a profound injury to her brain from which she will not recover. She requires constant nursing support and attention,” Mr Justice Goss told the court.

He also detailed how she killed two brothers, who were part of a set of triplets, she searched for her victim’s mother on Facebook and took handover notes home.

Whole-life orders were introduced in 1983 and were initially imposed by home secretaries, but the power was handed to judges in 2002.

Letby killed the babies by injecting them with air between June 2015 and June 2016, when she was working at the Countess of Chester Hospital, the Manchester Crown Court was earlier told. She also attempted to murder other babies in the hospital’s neonatal unit, with methods including deliberately injecting them with air, overfeeding them and poisoning them with insulin.

She faced a total of 22 charges.

Letby was found not guilty of two counts of attempted murder and the jury could not reach verdicts on six charges of attempted murder.

Former justice secretary Robert Buckland called on the government to change the law to force criminals to appear for sentencing. At present, they cannot be compelled by the court to do so.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was asked in North Yorkshire about Letby refusing to appear, called the move “cowardly” and said the government is looking at changing the law to make sure that happens – “and that’s something we’ll bring forward in due course.”

(Originally published on