Lucy Letby will spend the rest of her life in prison after being convicted of murdering seven babies and trying to kill six more while working at a neonatal unit.
The 33-year-old, who is the most prolific child serial killer in modern British history, was told by the judge there was a “malevolence bordering on sadism in your actions” for which “you have no remorse”.
Mr Justice Goss handed her a whole-life order at Manchester Crown Court on Monday, making her only the fourth woman in UK history to be told she will never be released from prison.
A jury convicted Letby of murdering seven babies and trying to kill six more while working in the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit between 2015 and 2016.
She refused to appear in court and amid anger from the victims’ families at her refusal, the judge told Letby she would be provided with copies of his remarks and the personal statements of the parents.
Along with her sentencing, there were multiple other details to emerge on Monday including statements from families of the victims; fears Letby may have harmed more children; and a response from Rishi Sunak over the inquiry into the murders. Yahoo News runs through the important developments.
Letby victims condemn serial killer
The families of Letby’s victims branded her as “evil” as they gave emotional victim impact statements during her sentencing.
Letby was found guilty of murdering Child C by forcing air down a feeding tube and into the baby boy’s stomach.
His mother choked back tears as she told Letby in her absence: “At least now there is no debate that, in your own words, you killed them on purpose. You are evil. You did this.”
The mother of Child I, who Letby also murdered, added: “We were both absolutely broken that someone could do something so evil to our precious little girl and this has had a massive effect on our family even until this day.”
Police fear Letby may have attacked more babies
Detectives are looking at whether Letby attacked as many as 30 more babies who were harmed but survived, according to The Guardian.
The paper said they found "suspicious" incidents at the Countess of Chester hospital when the nurse was on duty, including unexplained collapses.
A police review is underway regarding the care of 4,000 infants who may have been in contact with Letby during her time at the hospital from January 2012 to June 2016, as well as during her two work placements at Liverpool Women's Hospital in 2012 and 2015.
Read more: Lucy may have harmed dozens more babies, police fear (The Guardian)
What prison life will look like for Lucy Letby with no hope of parole
Letby was handed a whole-life order, making her only the fourth woman in UK history to be told she will never be released from prison.
She is set to begin her sentence at HMP Bronzefield in Surrey - the biggest women's prison in Europe.
Letby has already spent time at this facility after being remanded in custody in November 2020.
Prisons expert Mark Leech said: “She’ll be what’s known as a ‘restricted status’ prisoner: the female equivalent of Category A,” he explained. “She’ll be on suicide watch and it will be some time before she gets to mingle with the main prison population – at least six months.”
NHS manager who ‘ignored serious concerns’ suspended
A senior manager who was in charge of nursing at the Countess of Chester Hospital when Letby carried out her attacks on babies has been suspended from her current role.
Alison Kelly, who is now nursing director at The Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust in Salford, was suspended after hospital bosses were accused of ignoring concerns raised about Letby by her colleagues.
Read more: NHS manager who ‘ignored serious concerns’ about Lucy Letby suspended (The Telegraph)
Rishi Sunak defends inquiry into murders
When asked about the inquiry, prime minister Rishi Sunak said the current non-statutory one would ensure it was done “as quickly as possible”.
He said: “I think the important thing for the inquiry to do is make sure that families get the answers that they need.”
It remains possible that the inquiry may be upgraded to a statutory one later, with Downing Street not ruling it out.
Read more: Rishi Sunak Defends Non-Statutory Inquiry Into Murders (Huffpost)