A “cowardly” nurse who was found guilty of murdering seven babies in a single year has refused to face the parents of her victims in court as she prepares to be sentenced.
Lucy Letby became the UK’s worst ever child killer last week after she was convicted of the murders of seven infants, most of whom were born premature or with health problems.
Letby, 33, also attempted to kill six others as she became a “constant malevolent presence” on the ward at Countess of Chester Hospital, the court heard.
She is due to be sentenced on Monday but refused to enter court, where the families of her victims were bravely waiting to break their silence about the harrowing impacts of her crimes.
Letby faces life in prison.
Her decision led to fresh calls for criminals to be forced to attend their sentencing hearings, including from British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said it was “cowardly” when people who “commit such horrendous crimes do not face their victims”.
A victim impact statement from the mum of twins Child A, who was killed by the nurse, and Child B, whom Letby attacked, said 2015 was “going to be the best year of our lives” and “everything was perfect”, with the two babies.
She never would have imagined “such despicable actions” being carried out by a nurse, the mum said.
She added: “We never got to hold him, as you took him away.
“What should have been the happiest time of our lives became our worst nightmare.”
The mum of baby boy Child C, who was murdered by Letby, wept as she said she will always remember the “overwhelming wave of emotion” she felt holding her “tiny, feisty boy”.
She said the “trauma” from that night would live with the family forever as “knowing his murderer was watching us was like something out of a horror story”.
The mum continued to sob as she told how she questions whether her son would still be alive had she had not gone to bed that night.
She added: “In the dark days after his death I would open his memory box … I used to wear his hand and footprints around my neck.
“On July 3rd when Lucy Letby was arrested I felt so conflicted. She took those hand and footprints.
“Lucy Letby … there is no sentence that will ever compare to the excruciating agony that we have suffered as a consequence of your actions.”
Child D’s mum said her heart broke into a “million pieces” when the her baby girl died.
Clutching a toy rabbit in the witness box, she said her child’s death “unleashed hell” and she was forced to bury her daughter the day before her due date, leaving her wanting to end her own life.
The mum of twins E and F branded Letby “evil disguised as a caring nurse” after she murdered E and attempted to kill his twin brother 24 hours later.
She said Child E was buried in the robe Letby dressed him in before she murdered him, while Child F has been left with “complex and severe disabilities”.
The mum said her boys were a “pawn in [Letby’s] sick, twisted game”, adding: “We have been living a nightmare, but for me, it ends today.
Letby was convicted on seven counts of murder on Friday following a nine-month trial and 22 days of jury deliberation.
She was also found guilty of attempting to murder a further six babies during her year-long killing spree.
Letby wept as the first set of verdicts was delivered, but refused to enter court as the case was brought to a close.
Letby used insulin and air to inject newborns while working on the neonatal ward.
The collapses and deaths of the children were found not to “naturally-occurring tragedies” and instead the gruesome work of a “poisoner”.
During a mammoth trial, jurors were told some of the newborns were repeatedly targeted by the nurse, including one baby killed by Letby after three previous failed attempts.
She was arrested in 2018 after staff grew suspicious of the “significant rise” in the number of babies dying or suffering “catastrophic” collapses.
Letby was found to be the “common denominator” among the deaths and collapses, having been on shift every time one occurred.
— with The Sun