Lucy Letby is a coward – she should have to face us in court and hear how she destroyed our lives, say victims' families | The Sun

FAMILIES of Lucy Letby’s victims have branded the killer nurse a "coward" and are demanding she be forced to face them in court.

The twisted nurse, who murdered seven newborns, is refusing to come to the dock for sentencing today.

It means she will avoid having to listen to the victim impact statements of the families of those she killed and harmed.

They say it is a “slap in the face” and believe she should be forced to hear how she "destroyed" their lives.

One dad, whose twins Letby attempted to kill, told The Daily Mail: “She is a coward and we feel cheated that she will not be present to hear exactly how her terrible actions have affected our boys and our lives.

“What gives her the right to refuse to come up from the cells or to tell the judge that she doesn't intend to listen to his sentence? The law must change. 


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“The judge should be given the power to summon her into the dock to face myself, my wife and all the other victims who desperately want her to hear our victim impact statements.”

He added: "It is a total injustice and slap in the face for us all.

"The British justice system needs to change, to ensure that, in the future, all victims' voices are heard by those that perpetrate such horrendous crimes."

The plea comes as a former Justice Secretary said statements from her victims' families should be piped into Letby's cell if she refused to leave it.

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Sir Robert Buckland said: “Sadly, the court’s hands are tied.

"My suggestion would be to make sure there was a live link beamed into the cell of the sound and/or send pictures to ensure that Letby has nowhere to hide and in fact has to listen to what the judge is saying about the case.

“Most importantly, she needs to hear the victims’ personal statements as that will bring home the appalling and devastating impact of the loss of these innocent babies.”

Under laws set to be proposed in the King’s Speech later this year, offenders will be required to attend court to hear their punishment.

Last week trial judge Mr Justice Goss said the court had no power to force the baby killer to come to court.

However, last night it was reported the government believes Letby could in fact be compelled to attend.

A source told the Daily Telegraph prison officers may use “lawful enforcement” to ensure a defendant is present when the judge hands down the sentence.

But it is believed some guards are reluctant to use force because of the risk of legal action if they are seen to have overstepped what is

The source said: “Lucy Letby should be in court to hear society’s condemnation of the enormity of her crimes, expressed by the judge.

“If that requires the use of lawful enforcement, so be it. If she continues to refuse, that will only strengthen our resolve to change the law as soon as we can.”

The new law could include more protection for guards, reports say.

Other high-profile offenders who refused to be in court for sentencing include Thomas Cashman, 34, who killed Olivia Pratt-Korbel, nine, at her Liverpool home last August.

Letby, 33, is expected to become only the third woman alive to be handed a whole life term, meaning she will never be released from prison.

Letby’s heinous crimes were unmasked during a nearly ten-month trial where it was revealed she also attempted to kill six other newborns.

Up until now, officers had looked into only her killings between June 2015 and June 2016.

However, they are now continuing their investigation — and it is feared she may have attacked 30 more babies.

According to The Times, officers have identified further “suspicious incidents” at the hospitals where she worked.

They do not believe she is responsible for any further deaths, but believe she may have harmed another 30 babies on the wards.

Letby targeted newborns at the Countess of Chester Hospital during a year-long murder spree.

Senior NHS managers missed multiple opportunities to stop her, tried to silence suspicious doctors and delayed calling cops.

Meanwhile, calls for a judicial inquiry are growing.

At present, the official probe into how the case was handled will not have the power to force witnesses to give evidence.

Yesterday it was revealed that Letby could be placed under 24-hour suicide watch while in prison.

It's believed she could serve her sentence at HMP Low Newton, a maximum security women's prison in County Durham – or HMP Bronzefield,  the largest female prison in Europe.

Letby previously told how she thought about taking her own life after being blamed for the deaths.

She told Manchester Crown Court: “There were times when I did not want to live. I thought of killing myself.”

Now it's thought she will be put under suicide watch when she is locked up.

Ian Carson of the Prison Officers Association told the Mirror: “It wouldn't surprise me if she's under constant watch with eyes on her 24/7.

“It would be very embarrassing if she kills herself before justice gets done. Prison officials may decide instead to check in on her every ten minutes if she's not deemed such a risk.'

Mr Carson added: “They'll have more staff supervision not only to make sure she doesn't commit suicide but also to make sure she doesn't escape.”

If handed a full life tariff she will join the ranks of Rose West, serial killer Joanna Dennehy and the late Moors murderer Myra Hindley.

Her mum Susan wailed "this can't be right" as it was revealed her daughter had been found guilty of killing babies.

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Jurors failed to reach verdicts on six remaining counts of attempted murder against four babies – causing some families to storm out.

The prosecutor has now asked for 28 days to consider if there will be a retrial.

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