‘I’m innocent,’ says Lucy Letby as she’s led out of dock after whole-life sentence


Lucy Letby called out “I’m innocent” as she was led from the dock after being handed a 15th whole life order for the attempted murder of a premature baby girl.

The 34-year-old protested until the last moment that she was not guilty of any of the seven murders, and eight attempted murders, of which she has now been convicted.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday, Mr Justice Goss said the former neonatal nurse had “coldly denied any responsibility for wrongdoing”.

“You have no remorse. There are no mitigating factors. In their totality, the offences of murder and attempted murder were of exceptionally high seriousness and just punishment, according to law, requires a whole life order,” he said.

Letby was found guilty last week of the attempted murder of Baby K by dislodging her breathing tube while she worked a night shift at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit in February 2016.

Last August, Letby was convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murder of six others, with two attempts on one child, between June 2015 and June 2016

However, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on a single allegation of attempted murder related to Baby K, who was born 15 weeks prematurely.

‘You will never hurt another child’

The mother of Baby K addressed Letby directly as she read out a victim impact statement to the packed courtroom where she has had to sit through two trials listening to the harrowing details of her daughter’s death.

She said: “The devastation expands so far and for so long when a child is lost let alone under these circumstances.

“[Our baby] is not here, never will be. We will never have what would give us peace, closure, or a feeling of being a complete family unit.

“However, you, Lucy Letby, will never hurt another child or have the privilege and joy that children give.

“Our time and effort that you have absorbed over the years will stop today and our focus will remain on our beautiful children and building the most exciting and love-filled life that we possibly can.”

The case centred around the allegations of a consultant paediatrician whose evidence was also crucial during Letby’s first trial.

Dr Ravi Jayaram claimed he caught Letby “virtually red-handed” standing beside Baby K’s incubator as the child’s oxygen levels dropped rapidly.

He said he had gone into the intensive care unit, where the baby was being looked after, as he felt “very uncomfortable” knowing she was alone with the child.

Dr Jayaram said he was concerned as by this point there had been a number of incidents on the ward, which he believed were linked to Letby.

Under cross-examination, Ben Myers KC, accused Dr Jayaram of fabricating the fact that Letby was standing beside the incubator to “create suspicion where it did not exist”.

Unanimous conviction

Jurors deliberated for just two hours and twenty minutes before unanimously convicting her of the crime.

After being found guilty at her first trial last year, Letby refused to attend the sentencing hearing.

Upon her conviction, Mr Justice Goss had told her that she “would be here for sentence” and on Friday morning she appeared in the dock, dressed in black.

She listened without reaction to the victim impact statement and Mr Justice Goss’s sentencing remarks.

Mr Goss said she had “acted in a way that was completely contrary to the normal human instincts of nurturing and caring for babies”.

He added:“ I repeat what I have said before, only you know the reason or reasons for your murderous campaign.”

Following the sentencing, senior crown prosecutor, Nicola Wyn Williams, said: “The savagery of her actions has been difficult for the prosecution team to comprehend and has devastated the lives of the families of these babies.

“We still have no idea why she committed these crimes. But the Crown Prosecution Service does not have to prove a motive, we simply need to prove that the defendant committed the crime.

“Two separate juries have now found her guilty and the sentence passed means she will never be released from prison.”

In May, Letby lost her Court of Appeal bid to challenge her convictions from last year.


12:50 PM BST

That’s all for today

That’s all for today, thanks for following our live coverage of Lucy Letby’s sentencing.

Check the website for the latest updates.


12:10 PM BST

Letby acted in a way ‘completely contrary to the normal human instincts’ says judge

During his sentencing remarks, Justice Goss told Letby: “You acted in a way that was completely contrary to the normal human instincts of nurturing and caring for babies and in gross breach of the trust that all citizens place in those who work in the medical and caring professions.”

He added: “You are to be sentenced for attempting to murder her.  As I said last August, you are intelligent and, outwardly, you were a very conscientious, hard-working, knowledgeable, confident and professional nurse, which enabled you repeatedly to harm babies on the unit without arousing suspicion for some time.

“You relished being in the intensive care nursery and your messages to colleagues revealed an interest in babies that were on, or coming to the unit who had uncommon medical conditions.  You would often conduct searches on Facebook for parents of babies you had murdered or attempted to murder.

“ I repeat what I have said before, only you know the reason or reasons for your murderous campaign.”


12:03 PM BST

Letby sentenced for another ‘dreadful crime’, says prosecutor

Senior Crown Prosecutor Nicola Wyn Williams, of CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Complex Casework Unit, said: “Lucy Letby has now been sentenced for another dreadful crime – the attempted murder of yet another baby.

“This has been an incredibly difficult, complex and disturbing case. A trained nurse tasked with looking after the most vulnerable babies used her craft and her skills to become a killer.

“She stood by as the parents of the babies she had killed or tried to kill,  grieved and pretended to try and comfort them, all along knowing she was the person responsible.

“The savagery of her actions has been difficult for the prosecution team to comprehend and has devastated the lives of the families of these babies.

“We still have no idea why she committed these crimes. But the Crown Prosecution Service does not have to prove a motive, we simply need to prove that the defendant committed the crime.

“Two separate juries have now found her guilty and the sentence passed means she will never be released from prison.

“We know that is little comfort to the families, and our thoughts are with all of them again today.”


11:45 AM BST

Pictured: Justice Goss as he sentences Lucy Letby to a whole life order

Justice Goss as he sentences Lucy Letby to a whole life orderJustice Goss as he sentences Lucy Letby to a whole life order

Justice Goss as he sentences Lucy Letby to a whole life order


11:24 AM BST

Sentencing remarks for 15 offences begin

Mr Justice Goss has now begun his sentencing remarks. He said all 15 offences were committed over a period of almost 13 months between June 2015 and June 2016 at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

“You acted in a way that was completely contrary” to the care expected for infants on the unit, he said.

He added: “You are intelligent and outwardly a very conscientious, hard working, knowledgeable and confident nurse”.

He said it enabled her to “repeatedly harm babies without arousing suspicion”. He added that it appeared she “relished” being in the intensive care unit with the most poorly babies.


11:20 AM BST

Letby maintains her innocence, court hears

Benjamin Myers KC, for Letby’s defence, says they recognise the sympathy for the family of Baby K.

He adds that Letby maintains her denial of the offence, and all the other ones she was convicted of.

He said: “Miss Letby’s position remains that she is not guilty of any offence. The court of course will proceed on the basis of this conviction and other convictions.

“The sentence is inevitable and therefore there is no more I can say.”


11:18 AM BST

You will never hurt another child, Baby K’s mother tells Letby

Discussing the impact of going through two trials to get a guilty verdict, she said: “The upheaval of baby K’s death, the 6 year wait for 1st trial, 8 month trial, the verdict  and then learning we were doing it over again… was heart wrenching, but our baby girl needs a voice, we had too, we had no choice.”

Addressing Letby directly, she said: “Will we get answers and the verdict that we want? Will that actually bring some peace and closure?

“Baby K is not here, never will be, we will never have what would give us peace, closure, or a feeling of being a complete family unit, however, you Lucy Letby, will never hurt another child or have the privilege and joy that children give. Our time and effort that you have absorbed over the years will stop today and our focus will remain on our beautiful children and building the most exciting and love filled life that we possibly can.”


11:16 AM BST

Memory of my child ‘tainted’ by Letby’s actions, says Baby K’s mother

The mother of Baby K said that their memory of her child had been “tainted” by Letby’s actions.

She said: “Our happy go lucky and positive view on life has been dampened and all the good things are riddled with the apprehension, the waiting for it to go wrong or an element of it not being quite right.”

She said they now have “beautiful children” and they would one day have to be told about what happened to their older sister.

“One day we will have to sit our children down and explain what happened to their big sister and that right now is the biggest task to overcome as yet.”


11:15 AM BST

No reaction from Letby after emotional statement

Letby has not reacted to the emotional statement from the mother of Baby K.

The mother told the court that when they received a phone call from the police to say their child’s death was under investigation it was like a “bolt from the blue”.

“We were in complete shock, as from what we can recall my care and the care of our baby while under the Countess was superb and that within Baby K’s most critical and needing time that anyone would think or try to knowingly hurt her was unthinkable. She was defenceless. She was in the right place to be looked after.”

“And so, what ended up being the next seven and half years of investigation and the unknown, began.

“Thinking that our baby had just fallen into the timeline for consideration, to Baby K being confirmed as a baby that they would be pursuing a charge for an Attempted Murder. How was this possible? How could we have let this happen to her? Why has this happened? What happens next? All questions that were unable to be answered and might never be able to be.”


11:12 AM BST

Child death not ‘part of natural cycle’ says Baby K mother

Baby K’s mother said that “people don’t talk about child death” as it is not “part of the natural cycle”

She added: “We were and sometimes still are lost in this bubble of everyday actions and functions that now have no meaning or importance but can cause overwhelming emotions from nowhere. It’s a rollercoaster.

“We could control our feelings before, held it together but now any mention of  [our baby] and that lump appears uncontrollably in your throat, you’re hot, uneasy, your senses on overload, listening but thinking and not fully processing all at once. “


11:10 AM BST

Mother of Baby K impact statement read out

The mother of Baby K, who cannot be named for legal reasons, read out her statement to the packed courtroom.

She said: “We found out we were pregnant with Baby K in August 2015 after suffering a miscarriage earlier that year. As you can imagine making it to the 12-week mark, seeing her little heartbeat, we were beyond ecstatic and overwhelmed with love already.”

She said that her child was born on 17 February 2016 and although she was in a fragile state, “she was here”.

She added: “She was transferred to Arrow Park later that day however, despite everyone’s best efforts, she passed away on the 20th February 2016, the day our world fell apart and changed forever.”


11:01 AM BST

Letby lost Court of Appeal bid to challenge convictions

In May, Letby lost her Court of Appeal bid to challenge her convictions from last year.

Cheshire Constabulary said its review of the care of some 4,000 babies admitted to hospital while Letby was working as a neonatal nurse remains ongoing.

The period covers her spell at the Countess of Chester from January 2012 to the end of June 2016, and includes two work placements at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in 2012 and 2015.

A separate corporate manslaughter investigation at the hospital by Cheshire Constabulary also remains ongoing.

The public inquiry into how Letby was able to commit her crimes on the unit is set to begin at Liverpool Town Hall on September 10.

A court order prohibits reporting of the identities of the surviving and dead children involved in the case.


10:46 AM BST

Letby claimed she had no recollection of events

Speaking from the witness box Letby told the jury of six women and six men she had no recollection of the event described by Dr Jayaram and did not accept it had taken place.

She denied she did anything harmful to Child K and added that she had not committed any of the offences she had been convicted of.

Letby also denied the prosecution’s claims that she interfered with the infant’s breathing tube on two more occasions during the same shift to create the impression it was accidentally displaced.

Child K was transferred to a specialist hospital later on February 17 because of her extreme prematurity and died there three days later.

More than two years later on a late Friday night in April 2018, Letby searched on Facebook for Child K’s surname.


10:39 AM BST

Letby targeted ‘very premature’ baby in intensive care

Letby, of Hereford, targeted the “very premature” baby after she was moved from the delivery room to the unit’s intensive care room in the early hours of February 17.

The youngster, born at 25 weeks’ gestation and weighing just 692g, was said by the prosecution to be the “epitome of fragility”.

About 90 minutes after her birth, Letby dislodged the breathing tube through which she was being ventilated with air and oxygen.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Ravi Jayaram caught her “virtually red-handed” as he entered nursery one at about 3.45am and he then went on to intervene and resuscitate Child K.

Dr Jayaram told jurors he saw “no evidence” that she had done anything to help the deteriorating baby as he walked in and saw her standing next to the infant’s incubator.

He said he heard no call for help from Letby or alarms sounding as Child K’s blood oxygen levels dropped


10:16 AM BST

Recap: Lucy Letby found guilty of trying to murder another baby girl

Convicted child killer Lucy Letby was told by a judge “she will be in court” for her sentencing after she previously refused to attend.

The 34-year-old was found guilty of attempting to kill a premature baby girl by dislodging her breathing tube while she worked a night shift at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit in February 2016.

Last August, Letby was convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murder of six others between June 2015 and June 2016.

However the jury was unable to reach a verdict on a single allegation of attempted murder related to Baby K, a baby born 15 weeks prematurely.

At Manchester Crown Court on Tuesday, following a three-week retrial, Letby was found guilty of attempting to kill another child. Jurors took two hours and 20 minutes to decide that she had tried to claim another victim.

Read the full story here.


10:14 AM BST

Lucy Letby sentenced today for attempted murder of baby girl

Lucy Letby will be sentenced today for the attempted murder of a baby girl.

Follow this live blog for the latest updates.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top