Lucy Letby faces life in isolation behind bars and will be placed on 24-hour suicide watch

22 August 2023, 11:48 | Updated: 22 August 2023, 11:50

Letby will be kept in isolation to prevent her from being attacked
Letby will be kept in isolation to prevent her from being attacked. Picture: Cheshire Police/HM Prisons

By Emma Soteriou

Lucy Letby faces life in isolation while behind bars and will be on 24-hour suicide watch after becoming the most prolific child serial killer in modern British history.

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Letby murdered seven babies and tried to kill six more while working at the Countess of Chester Hospital neonatal unit between 2015-2016.

The killer nurse will die behind bars after receiving a whole-life order, with no chance of parole.

She is only the fourth woman in the UK to be served with the life term, following the likes of Myra Hindley, Rosemary West, and Joanna Dennehy.

The 33-year-old is expected to be jailed in HMP Low Newton in Durham but will be at "greater risk" of attack due to her crimes.

Experts have said she will face inmates who are unable to see their own children and so her case may strike a cord.

Read more: Nursing boss says claims she ignored warnings about Lucy Letby ‘simply not true’ and is ‘seeking legal advice’

Read more: Inside the maximum security prison where killer nurse Lucy Letby will spend the rest of her life

Baby murderer Lucy Letby to spend rest of her life in jail for ‘evil’ crimes

Tania Bassett, press officer for Napo, the trade union and professional association for probation and family court staff, told the Times: “She will be in segregation because she will be at risk from other prisoners.

“Infanticide can conjure a lot of strong emotions and a huge number of those women in prison will be separated from their children.

"Being known as a baby killer will put her at risk from the majority of women in custody so she will be spending a lot of that sentence on her own. Prison officers will be the only people she has contact with.

“She’ll have to have her meals and exercise in segregation so it’s very resource intensive for prison staff. She will need to be accompanied by several officers when she is escorted because of the risk to her.

“Anyone convicted of murder is automatically placed on suicide watch and she will be at greater risk of suicide because no social interactions can increase those negative emotions.

"The Prison Service will not want her to commit suicide, particularly as it will beg questions about why she wasn’t monitored properly."

James O'Brien baffled by how Letby warnings were 'completely ignored'

Sentencing Letby to spend the rest of her life in prison on Monday, Mr Justice Goss said her motive for killing the children will never be known.

He described the killings as "a cruel, calculated and cynical campaign of child murder".

"You have no remorse. There are no mitigating factors... You will spend the rest of your life in prison," said the judge.

Letby was branded a "coward" for failing to attend her sentencing. The government is now working on a law to force criminals to attend their sentencing, although some have worried that it would be difficult to manage in practice.