Undated handout photo issued by Cheshire Police showing the diary and a handwritten note of nurse Lucy Letby charged with the murder of seven babies, in Manchester, UK, obtained by Reuters July 25, 2023. CHESHIRE CONSTABULARY/VIA REUTERS
The sentencing to life imprisonment without possible remission of Lucy Letby, the baby killer nurse, on Monday August 21, arouses intense emotion in the United Kingdom, as well as heated controversy. Aged 33, this young woman with blond square and smooth face was convicted of the murder of seven newborn babies and attempted murder of six others. She is only the fourth woman sentenced to the heaviest possible sentence by British justice.
Her crimes are terrible: a native of Hereford, on the border with Wales, Lucy Letby, described as a discreet and uneventful young woman by her entourage, hounded the often premature babies she was responsible for in neonatal care. . Between June 2015 and June 2016, in the Countess of Chester hospital (west of England) where she had just landed one of her very first jobs, the nurse injected them, when she was alone with them, insulin, air in the veins or caused them to ingest too much milk. Most of the babies who did not die from it suffered from very serious neurological sequelae.
Testifying one last time in the grounds of the Royal Court of Manchester, before the delivery of the judgment on Monday, the parents of the young victims recalled the ordeal that their children, and themselves, endured through the fault of the nurse. “My daughter will never be able to go to high school, have a boyfriend or get married”, underlined the mother of a very premature baby girl, on whom Lucy Letby fought hard during the summer of 2015. The nurse tried three times to try to kill this child who weighed only 500 grams at birth, inflicting irreparable brain damage.
The mother of twins, boy and girl, attacked in June 2015 (only the little girl survived), explained suffering from post-traumatic stress: “After the death of our son, we were terrified for the health of our daughter, he always had a family member by her side, that’s probably what saved her. She wished the nurse would “live a long life and spend every day of that life suffering for what she did.” No names of the victims have been revealed, the justice having imposed anonymity on the media at the request of the families.
British channels broadcast the sentence live. Weighing his words, Judge James Goss, who presided over the royal court in Manchester (where the trial took place, for nearly a year), called Lucy Letby’s crimes a “cruel, calculated and cynical campaign of murder, directed against the smallest and most vulnerable of babies (…). You created the situations so that their discomfort and the causes of their discomfort were not obvious, ”insisted Judge Goss, noting “a deep malevolence bordering on sadism”. The nurse having also “shown no remorse, there are no mitigating circumstances” for crimes “whose severity justifies life imprisonment”, concluded the magistrate.
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