(CMR) Lucy Letby, a neonatal nurse convicted of murdering seven babies in her care and trying to kill six others at a hospital in northern England, was sentenced Monday to life in prison with no chance of release.
This is the most severe punishment possible under British law, which does not allow the death penalty.
According to the Associated Press, the judge said she was cruel, cunning, and callous and acted with “malevolence bordering sadism.” Justice James Goss said the number of killings and attempts and the nature of the murders by a nurse entrusted with caring for the most fragile infants provided the “exceptional circumstances” required to impose a rare “whole-life order.” Only three other women have received such a harsh sentence in the U.K.
Letby refused to appear in court for sentencing or to face an outpouring of anger and anguish from grieving parents, AP reported.
“There was a deep malevolence bordering on sadism in your actions. During the course of this trial, you have coldly denied any responsibility for your wrongdoing. You have no remorse. There are no mitigating factors,” Goss said, addressing the absent defendant.
Letby sickened babies by injecting intravenous lines with air, poisoning some with insulin, and force-feeding others with milk. After killing them, she sometimes sobbed in grief, made keepsakes for parents and bathed the little bodies, and dressed them for burial, AP reported.