By Dave Andrusko
After a ten month trial and an investigation that stretched back five years, Lucy Letby, who worked in the neonatal ward of the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester, England, was sentenced Monday to life in prison without possibility of parole for murdering seven infants and attempting to murder six others in 2015 and 2016.
On Friday, Letby had been found guilty on 14 of a possible 22 counts.
“Because the seriousness of your offenses is exceptionally high, I direct that the early release provisions do not apply,” Judge Goss told the court in a video shared by the BBC. “The order of the court therefore is whole life order on each and every offense and you will spend the rest of your life in prison.”
“Letby refused to appear in court for her sentencing,” Liam Quinn and Kirsty Hatcher reported for People magazine. “The judge said the former neonatal nurse had shown no remorse for her crimes and had waged a ‘cruel, calculated and cynical campaign of child murder involving the smallest and most vulnerable of children.’”
Letby is the most prolific serial killer of children in modern British history.
According to the New York Times Judge Goss told the courtroom that Ms. Letby
“acted completely contrary to the normal human instincts of nurturing and caring for babies” and that her actions caused a majority of her victims to suffer “acute pain.”
“There was premeditation, calculation and cunning in your actions,” the judge said, later describing “a deep malevolence bordering on sadism” in Ms. Letby’s crimes.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE following her sentencing, “Pascale Jones of the Crown Prosecution Service said that Letby’s sentence means ‘she will never again be able to inflict the suffering she did while working as a neonatal nurse.’
“She has rightly been brought to justice by the courts,” Jones continued. “My thoughts remain with the families of the victims who have demonstrated enormous strength in the face of extraordinary suffering. I hope that the trial has brought answers which had long eluded them.”
Megan Specia reported for the Times that the mother of a baby boy killed by Ms. Letby
addressed the absent former nurse in court on Monday, saying, “There is no sentence that will ever compare to the excruciating agony that we have suffered as a consequence of your actions,” according to the BBC.
“The trial shared shocking details of how a total 17 babies–all but one premature–were allegedly murdered or injured by Letby, described by the prosecution as a ‘devious,’ ‘calculating’ and ‘cold-blooded’ killer,” Fox News reported.
She attacked infants by injecting insulin, milk or air into their tiny bodies, leading to their sudden collapse. She was accused of physically assaulting one baby and causing a liver injury akin to a road traffic collision.
Letby took four attempts to kill one baby girl, attacked three sets of twins, twice murdering one twin, and murdered two triplets within 24 hours of each other.
Letby steadfastly proclaimed her innocence.
As befits a trial that literally shocked the nation, the verdicts were delivered in three stages over a series of days.
According to Ian Leonard [www.foxnews.com/world/senior-nurse-had-sleepless-nights-incidents-involving-alleged-baby-killer-lucy-letby-jury-told] , prosecutors
told the jury that Letby was a “constant, malevolent presence” at the hospital’s neonatal unit when the trial opened at Chester Crown Court in October.
They claimed she was the “common denominator” and that the baby’s deaths coincided with her shifts.
Babies who had not been unstable “suddenly severely deteriorated” while others who had been sick and recovered, suddenly deteriorated “for no apparent reason.”
Following a year of mysterious deaths and near-deaths of infants, Letby was removed from the neonatal ward in 2016, after senior hospital staff grew suspicious.
A copy of the card, which reads, in part, “your loved one will be remembered with many smiles,” was shown in court earlier this year.
“There are no words to make this time any easier,” Letby wrote, according to the BBC. “It was a real privilege to care for [the child] and get to know you as a family — a family who always put [child] first and did everything possible for her. She will always be part of your lives and we will never forget her. Thinking of you today and always.”
Letby also apologized for not being able to attend the baby girl’s funeral.
“Sorry I cannot be there to say goodbye. Lots of love Lucy x,” she wrote.