Judge tells Lucy Letby she has 'deprived children of their siblings'

Lucy Letby is sentenced to a whole life order: Serial killer will die in jail after murdering seven babies and trying to kill six more, as judge says she had an ‘enthusiasm’ for watching resuscitation of babies – but coward nurse refuses to face court

  • Read MailOnline’s live blog for all the latest coverage of Letby’s sentencing at Manchester Crown Court   

Lucy Letby will die behind bars after a judge sentenced her to a whole life order today – as the killer nurse cowered in her cell rather than face the bereaved relatives whose lives she has ruined. 

The most prolific child serial killer in modern British history is only the fourth woman to receive a whole life order after Myra Hindley, Rose West and triple murderer Joanna Dennehy.

Her decision not to attend court to hear her fate was branded ‘the final act of wickedness from a coward’ – and prompted yet more calls for new laws to force criminals to come to the dock.  

This morning, families of the 33-year-old’s victims told how their world had been ‘shattered by evil disguised as a caring nurse’, as they told her ‘you are nothing’. 

Issuing his sentencing remarks as if she was still in the room, Mr Justice Goss said Letby displayed a ‘morbid fascination’ with seriously ill children and inflicted ‘acute pain’ as they desperately fought for life.  

He told the court: ‘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. The babies you harmed were born prematurely and some were at risk of not surviving but in each case you deliberately harmed them, intending to kill them.’  

Describing the ‘immense’ impact of her ‘cruel, calculated and cynical campaign of child murder’, Mr Justice Goss said the lives of Letby’s victims had been cut short ‘almost as soon as they began’. He said: ‘All in horrific circumstances. Loving parents have been robbed of their cherished children. You have caused deep psychological trauma.’ 

The judge continued: ‘There was premeditation, calculation and cunning in your actions.’ He said Letby ‘relished’ being in the intensive care unit where she took an interest in ‘uncommon’ complications and targeted twins and triplets. He said the nurse prided herself on her professionalism which enabled her to start harming children without suspicion.

This morning, families of the 33-year-old’s victims told how their world had been ‘shattered by evil disguised as a caring nurse’, as they told her ‘you are nothing’. 

The parents of Baby A, who was murdered by Letby in 2015, and his twin sister Baby B – who was attacked but survived – told of their pain in a victim impact statement read out to the court. They said: ‘We never got to hold our little boy while he was alive, because you took him away. What should have been the happiest time of our lives became our worst nightmare.’

The mother of Child C, who weighed just 1lb 12oz when he was murdered by Letby, described the ‘overwhelming emotion’ she felt the first time she held her son. She said: ‘It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. My tiny feisty boy, my firstborn, my son. The trauma of that night will live with us all until the day we die. Knowing now his murderer was watching us was like something out of a horror story.’

She said she blamed herself for his death and not protecting him, adding: ‘What if I had not gone to bed that night? Maybe he would still be here.’

The mother of Child D said Letby’s ‘wicked sense of entitlement’ had led her to claim lives ‘that were not yours to take’. 

Meanwhile, the mother of Child E, who died, and Child F, who survived, said their world had ‘shattered when we discovered evil disguised as a caring nurse’.

Explaining how the babies had been conceived through IVF after a long fertility battle, she said: ‘Lucy was aware of our journey and deliberately caused significant harm and cruelty to our boys. Even in these final days of the trial she has tried to control things, the disrespect she has shown the families and the court show what type of person she is.’ She described Letby’s failure to appear in court as ‘the final act of wickedness from a coward’.

Child G, who Letby tried to murder while she weighed just 1lb after being conceived abroad through an expensive course of IVF, is now blind and must be fed through a tube. His father told the court: ‘Every day I would sit there and pray. I would pray for God to save her. He did. He saved her, but the devil found her.’ He said his daughter would ‘never have a sleepover with a best friend or go to high school and graduate. She will never have a first kiss, a boyfriend, or get married.’

The parents of Child I told the court that ‘a part of us died’ with the loss of their daughter. They described how – before Letby struck – she was a ‘very content little girl’ who was ‘like a full-term baby, who often smiled and never cried’. But after the attack, ‘she was swollen and seemed to be in a lot of pain, with eyes that looked very sad’. They had told she might be home for Christmas on the night she passed away.

None of the parents had any idea their children had been the victims of foul play until they were visited by police up to three years later. But today, the mother of Child N, who Letby tried to murder, said she always knew her son had been deliberately harmed.

Meanwhile, the mother of Child O and Child P – two brothers in a set of triples – said she continued to be haunted by ‘vivid images’ from the time and lived in ‘constant fear’ of anything else happening to her surviving children. Their third son only survived after his parents begged medics at a nearby hospital to take him in. 

Earlier today, Mr Justice Goss has said he has no power to force a defendant to attend a sentencing hearing, but the Government has vowed to give judges the power to do so. Rishi Sunak said it is ‘cowardly that people who commit such horrendous crimes do not face their victims’. 

Meanwhile, his official spokesman today said the inquiry into Letby’s crimes could be put on a statutory footing.  It follows anger that the inquiry was set to only be an independent one – which would not allow those taking part to compel witnesses to intend. 

Letby has also refused to give closure to her victims’ families by admitting to her crimes, with the closest she came to acknowledging her guilt being a scrawled message on a Post-it note which read: ‘I am evil, I did this.’ Her parents, Susan, 63, and John, 77, had attended every day of her trial but were not at her sentencing.

Children’s nurse Lucy Letby (pictured in a custody photo, left; and while working in hospital, right) went on a year-long killing spree while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital

Mr Justice Goss delivering his sentencing remarks today. She refused to appear in court today 

A prison van believed to be carrying Letby arrives at Manchester Crown Court this morning 

An artist’s impression showing a parent of one of Letby’s victims reading a victim impact statement as Mr Justice Goss watches on 

Another photo shows Letby – wearing a black floral dress – posing at the front of a group of women on a hen do just hours before she murdered her first victim

Letby’s parents, Susan, 63, and John, 77, had attended every day of her trial but were not at today’s sentencing. They are seen on August 17 

Letby preyed on babies small enough to fit in the palm of her hand by injecting them with air or insulin. She targeted one set of triplets and three sets of twins. 

Letby becomes only the fourth woman to receive a whole life order 

Lucy Letby faces the rest of her life behind bars after she was handed a whole-life order, becoming only the fourth woman in UK history to receive such a sentence.

Whole-life orders are the most severe punishment available in the country’s criminal justice system and are reserved for those who commit the most heinous crimes. 

As the most prolific child serial killer in modern British history, the 33-year-old nurse is expected to be handed such a sentence on Monday.

If this happens, she will join a string of the country’s most dangerous offenders who are likely to die behind bars, including Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens, necrophiliac David Fuller and homegrown terrorist Ali Harbi Ali who murdered MP Sir David Amess.

A total of 70 criminals are serving a whole-life order. They will never be considered for release, unless there are exceptional compassionate grounds to warrant it.

Only three women have previously been handed the sentence: the girlfriend of Moors murderer Ian Brady, Myra Hindley – who died in 2002 – and serial killers Rose West and Joanna Dennehy.

Letby could also follow in the footsteps of gun fanatic Louis De Zoysa, who was handed such a sentence last month after shooting Metropolitan Police custody sergeant Matt Ratana while handcuffed in a police cell in 2020.

In December, killer Damien Bendall began serving a whole-life order for murdering his partner Terri Harris, 35, her daughter Lacey Bennett, 11, her son John Paul Bennett, 13, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, also 11, who was staying for a sleepover.

A year earlier Fuller was handed the same sentence for the murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in 1987 and the sexual abuse of more than 100 dead women and girls in hospital mortuaries.

Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield is serving two whole-life orders – for her murder, the killings of Marsha McDonnell and Amelie Delagrange, and the attempted murder of Kate Sheedy.

Other notorious criminals serving whole-life orders include Michael Adebolajo, one of Fusilier Lee Rigby’s killers; Mark Bridger, who murdered five-year-old April Jones in Wales; neo-Nazi Thomas Mair, who killed MP Jo Cox; serial killer Stephen Port and, more recently, the Reading terror attacker Khairi Saadallah, who murdered three men in a park.

Before they died, Brady, as well as the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and doctor Harold Shipman – thought to be one of Britain’s most prolific serial killers – were also among those serving whole-life orders.

In the past, home secretaries could issue whole-life tariffs, as they were previously known, and these are now determined by judges.

Under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, which became law last year, the Government expanded the use of whole-life orders for the premeditated murder of a child.

The reforms also allows judges to hand out the maximum sentence to 18 to 20-year-olds in exceptional cases, such as for acts of terrorism leading to mass loss of life.

And the act gives judges the discretion, in exceptional circumstances, to impose a whole-life order on offenders aged 18 or over but under 21.

Manchester Arena bomb plotter Hashem Abedi, who was convicted of conspiring with his suicide bomber brother Salman Abedi over the 2017 atrocity, avoided a whole-life order because he was 21 at the time.

In one case, she targeted a baby who survived despite being born at 23 weeks in a hospital toilet. The nurse attacked the tiny 1lbs 2oz infant three times by overfeeding her with milk and injecting milk into her stomach. She survived, but the brain damage she suffered at Letby’s hands means she is unlikely to ever be able to walk or talk.

Letby replaced Myra Hindley and Ian Brady as the most prolific child killer in modern British history after she was found guilty of murdering seven premature babies and attempting to murder six more. The only surviving women to receive whole life orders are Rose West and Joanna Dennehy, who stabbed three men to death. 

Police are now reviewing the care of 4,000 babies she may have come into contact with during a spell at the Countess of Chester Hospital from January 2012 to the end of June 2016 and two work placements at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in 2012 and 2015. 

More families have already been warned their children may be victims during her five-year NHS career, raising the prospect of Letby appearing again in court. 

The nurse, a seemingly ‘goofy’, ‘innocent’ young woman who had Disney cuddly toys on her bed, found different ways to inflict indescribable, inhuman levels of pain, with some of her victims breaking into tortured screams that experienced paediatricians had never heard before. Several had to take time off work to recover from the trauma. 

After each of her murders, Letby appeared ‘animated and excited’, offering to bathe, dress and take photographs of her victims’ bodies.

Due to her lack of contrition, her motive remains unclear, but the prosecution believes she got a ‘thrill’ out of ‘playing God’. 

They also suggested she had been trying to impress a married doctor, knowing he’d be the one to come and help if she hurt children in her care. Letby would comfort the parents of children she killed – even sending them sympathy cards after their funerals. Before attacking innocent newborns as young as 23-weeks she had told mothers and fathers: ‘Trust me, I’m a nurse’. 

After she killed one child she texted a colleague and said: ‘Dad was on the floor crying, saying please don’t take our baby away when I took him to the mortuary, it’s just heart-breaking. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do’. 

In one case, a senior nurse on duty had to repeatedly tell Letby to come out of a room where a grieving couple were spending their last moments with their infant son. 

The father said Letby came in with a ventilated basket and told them: ‘You’ve said your goodbyes. Do you want me to put him in here?’ This prompted his wife to tell her: ‘He’s not dead yet.’ 

Letby attacked several babies by shoving hard plastic or wire tubes down their throats. Another suffered a ruptured liver – a violent injury likened by experts to injuries seen only in road accident victims. 

Like fellow nurse Beverley Allitt – who was convicted of murdering four infants at two Lincolnshire hospitals in Lincolnshire – Letby used insulin as one of her attack methods. 

On one occasion it was also claimed she murdered a tiny, ten-week premature baby boy because she was angry that one of her friends she was texting did not understand why she was upset at being given a break from working in intensive care following the death of another baby.

In several of the cases, it was suggested Letby attacked the babies because she wanted a married paediatrician, who she insisted was just a close friend but was suspected of having an affair with, to be crash called to the neonatal unit so they could try to save the children together, talk about treatments and sympathise with each other after their deaths. 

Professor David Wilson, a leading criminologist, told the Mail that this desperation to be acknowledged at work were signs of a ‘hero complex,’ and narcissism in Letby’s personality. 

Placing herself at the centre of a crisis was also indicative of the mental condition, Munchausen’s, he said. 

As Letby was sentenced today, new photos have emerged of her on a hen do with a large group of friends  

Letby is seen smiling as she poses with her friends. She has now been confirmed as Britain’s worst ever child killer 

Letby holding a drink (left) and posing with friends during a night out. The photos show how she was able to hide her inner evil during her private life 

In others she is seen wearing a Christmas jumper. One of the photos was captioned ‘Merry Christmas’ 

Letby with a group of friends as they prepared to leave for a hen do 

Asked by reporters on Monday if the Government has ruled out holding a statutory inquiry, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘No, I think as you heard the Prime Minister say this morning, we are focused on the outcomes, the most important thing is to make sure families get the answers they need and that it’s possible to learn the lessons, that it’s done transparently and that it happens as quickly as possible. And that’s crucial. And obviously, we will have an inquiry on the right footing to achieve that.’

READ MORE –  Senior doctor who tried to blow the whistle on Letby says he was ‘intimidated’ by bosses

Pressed again on whether it could be a statutory inquiry, he said: ‘As I say we will put it on the right footing to achieve those outcomes.’

On whether Downing Street has any targets for when the terms of reference will be set out, the PM’s official spokesman said ‘not at this stage’.

Dr John Gibbs, who has since retired, said managers ‘closed their minds’ too soon to the possibility that Lucy Letby was killing or harming babies on the neo-natal unit.

He told the Mail that he was ‘shocked’ when chief executive Tony Chambers called the hospital’s seven consultant paediatricians to a meeting, in January 2017, and told them Letby had not done anything wrong. The hospital boss even ordered medics to write a letter of apology to the nurse.

By this stage Letby, 33, had been working in an office job at the hospital for seven months, having been removed following the death of two triplets on consecutive shifts in June 2016. She was hoping to return to the unit after an internal grievance apparently found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Letby – wearing a blue hoodie with the strings covered in pink glitter – is taken from her house in handcuffs after being arrested by Cheshire Police in July 2018 

Letby steps into the police car – telling officers to be careful because she had just had knee surgery 

Letby being quizzed in July 2018 by an officer about the rise in deaths on her watch. Letby replies: ‘They told me there had been a lot more deaths and I’d been linked as someone who had been there for a lot of them.’ Asked if she was concerned about the rise in mortality, Letby says – meekly – ‘yes’

READ MORE – Parents of babies murdered by Letby could receive less than £13,000 in compensation 

Dr Gibbs said he felt intimidated by Mr Chambers, who told the consultants at the meeting that he was ‘drawing a line’ under the matter. Dr Gibbs’s colleague, Dr Stephen Brearey, told the BBC that medics were warned there would be ‘consequences,’ if they refused to write the apology.

Dr Gibbs said: ‘There was a difficult meeting at the end of January 2017 where all us paediatricians met with senior managers, including the chief executive, the director of nursing and the medical director. We were told how stressful this had all been for Lucy Letby and a letter from her was read out explaining how unfair we paediatricians had been.

‘We were told the chief executive had met with her and her father and we were told to write a letter of apology to Lucy Letby.

‘It seemed inappropriate, but the whole of the meeting shocked me. At the end, I remember the chief executive saying he was drawing a line under this issue and he ran his finger across the desk. He looked at all of us and said: ‘Do you understand?’ I did feel, to some extent, intimidated.’

READ MORE – Manager who ‘ignored warnings about Lucy Letby while she was director of nursing at baby killer’s hospital’ is suspended 

He said the consultants wrote the letter of apology, but added: ‘We didn’t feel it was justified. We didn’t apologise for raising concerns at all, we didn’t say anything about whether we felt those concerns were true or not, we merely apologised to Lucy Letby for any inappropriate comments that may have been made and for the distress that had been caused. We left it more general.’ The consultants said they felt they had ‘no choice’ but to continue trying to get the police involved for the sake of their patients.

So they wrote to Mr Chambers, to put it on record that they were still worried about the deaths, and the fact that two independent reviews, by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and a specialist neonatologist, from London, had failed to address whether a member of staff could be responsible.

Dr Gibbs added: ‘We began to realise that we were in direct confrontation with managers and we had no choice but to fight and to make sure the police got involved. By that stage, it was us or her.’

Eventually, in April 2017, Mr Chambers agreed to meet the chairman of the local Child Death Overview Panel and a police officer who sat on the panel. Within minutes of listening to the consultants’ fears about Letby, the pair told Mr Chambers he had to call in police.

Texts between Letby and the unnamed doctor were read out in court. They appeared to show the doctor comforting the killer nurse as she feigned upset after the death of one of her victims

And in another exchange over WhatsApp, Letby appeared to chat about her blossoming friendship with the doctor – who prosecutors said she had tried to impress by creating ‘crisis situations’ where they could work alongside each other to save the babies she had poisoned

Killer nurse Letby would often pull funny faces for photos while out with friends. Two of her murders took place shortly after returning from a week-long holiday to Ibiza

CLICK HERE to listen to The Mail+ podcast: The Trial of Lucy Letby 

Asked why he thought management were so reluctant to involve police for so long, Dr Gibbs said: ‘I think they could not accept and could not believe that a member of staff could be killing a series of patients in hospital. 

‘They just couldn’t believe it was possible.

‘I’ve been told that some of the senior nurses were strongly defending Lucy Letby and they just couldn’t believe she had done anything. 

‘I think they (managers) closed their minds to the fact she could have done that too soon.

‘It is a shame that, despite all us paediatricians expressing concerns, our clinical experience and our repeated observations that these deaths were outside our normal experience, they were unnatural and unusual, that advice wasn’t heeded.’

Another doctor has told the Mail that it was telling that Mr Chambers was a nurse before moving into management. 

Alison Kelly and Karen Rees, two other managers on the executive team, were also nurses. ‘You wonder whether they were simply protecting one of their own and became blinkered by that,’ the medic said.

Dr Gibbs said he had ‘mixed emotions’ about the guilty verdicts. ‘I feel some relief that the jury have come to conclusions in most of the cases and that the jury determined the truth. 

‘But, of course, it is devastating for the families.’

He said it was telling that, in the seven years since Letby had left, there had been just one death on the neo-natal unit.

Asked if he wished to respond to Dr Gibbs’s claims, Mr Chambers referred to a statement he issued on Friday after the guilty verdicts. 

He confirmed he would give evidence to the independent inquiry, adding it was ‘the right place to explore these complex issues’.

Letby texting a colleague after the death of Baby A 

After the deaths of Baby A and Bay C, says: ‘There are no words, it’s been awful’ 

In this string of messages, Letby tries to suggest the babies’ deaths was linked to health problems 

The nurse describes ‘crying and hugging’ the parents of Baby E, who died in her care 

The texts end with Letby crowing that police ‘have nothing or minimal on me’ 

Parents of newborns who were victims of Lucy Letby tell court how she murdered and maimed their children

Mother of Baby A (murdered on June 8, 2015) and B (victim of attempted murder between June 8 and June 11, 2015)

The mother of Baby A and Baby B said in a statement read to the court that 2015 ‘was going to be the best year of our lives’ and ‘everything was perfect’.

‘We never got to hold our little boy while he was alive, because you took him away,’ the statement says.

‘What should have been the happiest time of our lives became our worst nightmare.’

‘We are so thankful that we had that fear for Child B as it saved her life,’ her statement said, adding that after Child A died they made sure a member of the family was always at their daughter’s side.

‘Little did we know you were waiting for us to leave so you could attack the one thing that gave us reason to live.’

She said there will always be a ‘gaping hole’ where their son should be.

‘We hope you live a very long life and spend every single day suffering for what you have done.’

She added: ‘You thought it was your right to play God with our children’s lives.’  

Mother of Baby C (murdered on June 14, 2015)

The mother of Child C broke down in tears as she read her heart-wrenching impact statement to the court, but bravely continued to address the empty dock.

She described the ‘overwhelming emotion’ she felt the first time she held her son: ‘It was like nothing I had ever experienced before.

‘My tiny feisty boy, my firstborn, my son.

‘The trauma of that night will live with us all until the day we die. Knowing now his murderer was watching us… was like something out of a horror story.’

She said she blamed herself for his death and not protecting him: ‘What if I had not gone to bed that night, maybe he would still be here.’

She added: ‘I think about what his voice might have sounded like… who he might have been.’

She said she would open his memory box in the days after her son’s death, wearing his footprints around her neck to feel close to him.

But after Letby’s arrest, these mementoes – that Letby had helped create – felt ‘tainted’.

She said she is now able to wear these mementoes again, for the first time in five years: ‘I know they represent the love I have for my son and I will not allow evil to take that. They represent justice and the truth.’

Becoming emotional, but continuing to read to the court, she said no sentence Letby receives could ever compare to what she has gone through.

She concluded, telling Letby, referring to a note found in her house following her arrest: ‘In your own words, you did this, you are evil.’

Mother of Baby D (murdered on June 22, 2015)

The mother of Child D then addressed the court. Clearly emotional, the judge reminded her to take her time speaking.

She began by saying Letby’s ‘wicked sense of entitlement and abuse of her role as a trusted nurse was truly a scandal’.

‘Lucy Letby, you failed God and the plans we had for [Child D].’

She added: ‘Those lives were not yours to take,’ saying her heart ‘shattered into a thousand pieces’ when her daughter died.

After Child D died they had wanted her to be an organ donor – another baby needed a heart – but because of the post-mortem, this was not possible. This, she said broke her heart all over again.

Child D’s funeral service took place the day before her due date.

‘Those weeks were particularly difficult.

‘My arms, my heart, my life all felt so painfully empty.

‘I missed Child D so much, I was desperate to smell her, cuddle her.’

She said she questioned if she had done something wrong, missed something or ‘failed her daughter’.

She then detailed her fight for justice, desperately seeking answers about what had happened.

‘I love being a mum but at the same time struggle with grief and depression. I have disconnected from many people around me,’ she said.

‘My marriage is also scarred by all the hurdles we went through. At first, we were each other’s rocks… it has been hard to keep strong together.’

Child D’s mother then described the trial. Because she was a witness for the prosecution, she was not allowed to attend the early stages, but her husband attended court every day.

‘It felt invasive having Child D’s short life exposed to the public,’ she said.

She described explaining to her son – who was born a year after Child D died – what had happened to his sister.

But he became scared, fearing the person ‘who had hurt’ Child D would escape prison and hurt his cousins.

‘We wanted justice for Child D and that day has come.’

She said the management at the Countess of Chester Hospital told her that her child’s death was ‘not a criminal matter’  

She said after her baby’s death she asked for her medical notes and met with doctors and management from the Hospital.

She said: ‘We got a solicitor and I wanted the police involved. At that stage I was told this was not a criminal matter so the police was out of the question.’

A week before the baby’s inquest was due to take place she was told they were due to arrest someone, she said.

She added: ‘Thank God the police started their investigation.’

She told the court: ‘Lucy Letby had a chance to say something to us all, parents of the victims, and she had only one word – ‘unimaginable’.

‘Her wicked sense of entitlement and abuse of her role as a trusted nurse is a scandal. Lucy Letby. You failed God and the plans he had for (Child D). You even called it fate. You were clearly disconnected with God.’

She added: ‘We still have (Child D’s) death to declare officially and this could not be done until the cause of death had been agreed.

‘This is going to be another difficult thing to do, going to the registrar and declaring our daughter’s death eight years after her birth.

‘We wanted justice for (Child D) and that day has come.’

Mother of Baby E (murdered on August 4, 2015) and Baby F (victim of attempted murder on August 5, 2015)

When the mother of children E and F addressed the court, the emotion was thick in her voice, but she spoke clearly.

She said ‘our dreams had come true’ when their babies were born, that the family was then complete, but that ‘our world shattered when we discovered evil disguised as a caring nurse’.

After her first son died, and her second son became unwell she cried ‘not again’.

Years later, she said, when they found out Letby was a murderer: ‘We felt cheated, deceived and utterly heartbroken once more.’

She fought back tears as she described how she had to grieve openly in front of Letby, as Letby bathed her son for the final time and dressed him in a woollen gown.

‘He was buried in that gown, a gift from the unit chosen by Lucy,’ she recalled, adding that there is not a day that goes by when they didn’t regret that decision.

The boys were the result of several rounds of IVF, with the family resigning themselves to the fact they may never have children.

‘Lucy was aware of our journey and deliberately caused significant harm and cruelty to our boys,’ she said.

‘No children in the world were more wanted than them.’ 

Their son now has complex learning difficulties, which they believe is a direct result of his being poisoned with insulin.

‘Nothing can change what has happened to us, we are living with a life sentence because of Lucy’s crimes.’

She condemned Letby for refusing to leave her cell.

‘I would like to thank Lucy for taking the stand and showing the court what she is really like once the ‘nice Lucy’ mask slips.

‘It was honestly the best thing she could have done to ensure our boys got the justice they deserve.

She added: ‘Even in these final days of the trial she has tried to control things, the disrespect she has shown the families and the court show what type of person she is.

‘We have attended court day in and day out, yet she decides she has had enough, and stays in her cell, just one final act of wickedness from a coward.’

She said: ‘We have been living a nightmare but, for me, it ends today. I refuse to wake up with my first thought be about my boys being harmed.

‘Lucy no longer has control over our lives.

‘She holds no power or relevance in anybody’s life. She is nothing.’

The woman said her son who survived has been diagnosed with severe learning difficulties ‘which we believe is a result of being poisoned with a large quantity of insulin’.

She said: ‘I never allow him to be alone with medical professionals.’

Father of Baby G (twice a victim of attempted murder on September 7 and September 21, 2015)

His statement, read to the tearful court, recounted all the life experiences his daughter would never enjoy, such as a first kiss from a boyfriend, or marriage, as a result of Letby’s evil.

Their daughter was the result of IVF, which had cost the family great expense abroad, with the parents initially fearing she had miscarried early on.

Child G was left disabled following the attacks – she is registered blind, nil by mouth (and is fed via a tube), and has progressive scoliosis which has caused her spine to curve.

It left her parents ‘afraid’ and, as a result, they have not had any more children, and have not returned to use the remaining embryos left in an IVF clinic overseas.

‘We were afraid of having another disabled baby,’ he said in his statement.

Her mother finds it difficult to trust people who work in hospitals, but they need nurses to visit them every week to help support them.

He said: ‘What if Child G outlives us? Who will then care for her?

‘Everything feels like a constant battle just to have the essential things that Child G needs during her daily life.’

He said his daughter would ‘never have a sleepover with a best friend, or go to high school and graduate. She will never have a first kiss, a boyfriend, or get married.

He added: ‘She will always be in her chair.’

He described the start of her life as a premature baby was a ‘bumpy road’.

He said: ‘Every day I would sit there and pray. I would pray for God to save her. He did. He saved her, but the devil found her.’

Mother of Baby I (murdered on October 23, 2015)

‘I don’t think we will ever get over the fact that our daughter was tortured till she had no fight left in her and everything she went through over her short life was deliberately done by someone who was supposed to protect her and help her come home where she belonged.’ 

She outlined the huge impact the death of her daughter has had on her and her husband.

The woman said: ‘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.

‘We dug for years trying to get answers for what had happened and over the years we have been in some very dark places mentally.’

She said: ‘(Her husband) wished he was dead, he wished it was him that died and not (Child I).’

The woman said: ‘When they handed (Child I) to us we never wanted to let her go, we held her so tight she was our gorgeous little princess and I cant even begin to explain the pain. When we lost her a part of us died with her.’

She said that before her baby’s collapse, she was ‘like a full-term baby, she was on full-bottle feeds sat on my knee, very alert, she often smiled and she never cried. She was a very content little girl.’

However, a week later, this had all changed. 

She described their daughter as ‘swollen and looked in a lot of pain – her eyes looked very sad’.

The night Child I died, they were told their daughter might be home for Christmas – she then experienced a deadly collapse.

Father of Baby L (victim of attempted murder on April 9, 2016) and Baby M (victim of attempted murder on April 9, 2016)

The father of babies L and M also submitted a statement, telling the court that one day when he attended the trial Letby stared at him, making him feel so uneasy that he had to move seats.

Letby attempted to murder both his twin boys.

Child L was poisoned with insulin and his brother M was harmed by having air injected into his bloodstream.

The father said: ‘There was a day when I was at the trial and the public gallery was full and I was sat in Lucy Letby’s line of view and she kept looking over at me.

‘That made me feel quite uncomfortable and uneasy and I had to move in the afternoon so I was out of her view.’

He said the image of his son collapsing was ‘forever etched’ in his mind and the stress and strain had been unbearable at times.

He said: ‘Initially doctors told us that the whole events that took place in 2016 surrounding my children was normal for premature babies and we believed what the doctors were telling us at the time. Little did we know that a year or so after their birth the police would come knocking on the door and break the news that this could be an attempted murder case.’

He said he had been prescribed anti-depressants but added: ‘Even though they have helped they can never take away the feelings I have as a parent knowing now what had truly happened at the Countess of Chester in 2016 and it doesn’t make it any easier to cope with over time.’

Mother of Baby N (victim of attempted murder on June 3, 2016)

A statement from the mother Child N was read – she described how, when she found out she was expecting him, her family felt ‘complete’. 

Their son was born with haemophilia, but they had been expecting to take him home when Letby struck, using his disease as a cover for her murder attempt.

‘The day we were called to the neonatal unit was the worst day of our lives,’ she said, describing walking into the chaos of the room.

‘Seeing our tiny baby fighting for his life… and not knowing if he would live or die.’

‘I honestly knew Child N had been deliberately harmed,’ she said, calling it a ‘mother’s instinct’.

‘I just kept questioning why our healthy baby boy was fine one minute and then bleeding from the mouth and needing CPR the next.’

She no longer trusts anyone else to look after her son, saying: ‘Our trust has been broken.’

She added: ‘I think there has only been one occasion when [my husband and I] have gone out alone since Child N was born.’

They wanted him to be home schooled because their belief in people in positions of trust has been completely broken.

‘We know we smother him with love and affection because we don’t want him to be sad and upset,’ she added.

They had discussed having another baby, but the possibility of having to return to the neonatal unit has stopped them from doing so.

Mother of triplet boys O and P (murdered by Letby on June 23 and June 24, 2016)

A pre-recorded video statement from the mother of triplet boys O and P – both murdered by Letby – was played to the court. She said she felt unable to enter the witness box today.

‘I recall putting all my trust into the medical experts,’ she said.

Following the first death, she says: ‘I was in a state of total shock and disbelief.’

Then a second triplet became unwell.

‘I had that awful sense of ‘it is happening again’,’ she said, telling the court she blamed herself, believing she had passed an illness onto the boys and infected them.

After two of her sons died, she recalled experiencing a ‘horrible feeling’ that her third son was next. He was moved to another hospital.

‘I only have one photograph of me holding all three boys together,’ she said.

‘It was Lucy Letby that dressed Child P after his passing and took his footprints which were stored in a memory box,’ she said.

She says the nurse was inconsolable, and herself grew emotional as she recalled how she thanked the killer for helping her. She added: ‘She has destroyed our lives.’

She said that she continued to be haunted by ‘vivid images’ from the time and lived in ‘constant fear’ of anything happening to her children.

Speaking about the trial, she said: ‘Being within the courtroom environment was extremely harrowing. That was the first time I had seen Lucy Letby since 2016.’

She said she sat behind a monitor so she was not in a direct line of sight and found the evidence difficult to listen to.

She added: ‘Having to come to terms with the police investigation has made the past few years unbearable.’

Father of boys O and P

The father of murdered triplets O and P wept throughout much of his pre-recorded video statement as he recalled how his three sons were described as ‘miracle babies’ at the Countess of Chester hospital.

He said at first, the family ‘were informed that [my wife] was unable to have children due to issues with her ovaries’.

They had one healthy child and his wife later miscarried another.

Then, they discovered they were having triplets – something that was extremely rare.

‘We were well known at the Countess, staff called the pregnancy a ‘miracle’.’

When their sons were born, ‘we were so excited at how well the boys were doing and commented on how identical they were, it was almost impossible to tell them apart’.

Then Child O collapsed.

The father held back tears saying: ‘I noticed the colour of [Child O’s] skin was changing rapidly, it didn’t appear normal to the naked eye, it was horrific to see, and it is an image that I’ll never forget, deep down I knew it was not going to end well.

‘[Child O] received a blessing from the priest and was quickly christened.

‘Moments later, [he] was gone.

‘I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart, no words could describe how I was feeling.

‘I kept wishing it had happened to me and at that time would have gladly taken his place.’

The hospital, he said, provided no explanation for what had happened.

He said dressing their son after his death was ‘traumatic’.

He wiped away tears as he said: ‘I was upset, but I could see how hurt [the mother] was. I felt useless and blamed myself.’

He recalled that a day after Child O died, Child P collapsed.

‘The situation escalated and I was worried at the drama and panic unfolding in the room. I knew it was serious when doctors arrived.

‘The whole ordeal was a repeat of the previous day, I knew it was not going to end well. I thought we were going down the same road as we did with [Child O].’

His wife continued to blame herself.

All they could think of was getting their third son out of the Countess of Chester, saying ‘he wasn’t safe there’. His wife discharged herself early, in a wheelchair, to move to another hospital with her son.

He then hit out at the Countess for failing to give them any support after their sons died.

He said: ‘We did not receive any counselling or support, after losing the boys, I didn’t know how to deal with the situation or what to tell our eldest child, we had no guidance for the siblings.

‘There was no contact from the Countess whatsoever, our extended family kindly offered to collect the memory boxes, but this wasn’t acceptable at the Countess, the hospital wanted the direct family to collect, which made us very upset and angry as we never had any intentions of returning.’

His statement added: ‘Lucy Letby has destroyed our lives.

‘The anger and the hatred I have towards her will never go away.

‘It has destroyed me as a man and as a father.’

The man wiped away tears and was visibly upset in the recording as he said: ‘The continual pressure of having the trial hanging over us has been immense and difficult to describe.

‘Even after the trial has ended, it will continue to haunt us and will always have an impact on our lives.’

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