Lucy Letby ‘will be a target in prison and spend life looking over her shoulder’

Lucy Letby sentenced to whole-life order

Lucy Letby has been warned that she will spend the rest of her time in prison “looking over her shoulder” as reports suggest she will likely be a target for other inmates.

The 33-year-old nurse was found guilty of seven counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder.

Dubbed one of the UK’s most prolific child killers, Letby had been working at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s neonatal unit at the time.

Letby, from Hereford, stood trial for her crimes that consisted of deliberately harming infants in various ways, including by injecting air intravenously and administering air and/or milk into the stomach via nasogastric tubes.

It was also claimed by the prosecution that she added insulin as a poison to intravenous feeds, interfered with breathing tubes, and inflicted trauma in some cases.

READ MORE: Eamonn Holmes blasts baby killer Lucy Letby for avoiding court sentencing

Letby will face the rest of her life behind bars, becoming only the fourth woman in UK history to be handed 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.

It means Letby will never be released from prison.

An ex-offender has warned that her prison life will be bleak, warning other prisoners may pose a risk to her.

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Mark Leech, who spent 14 years in 62 different jails, told The Daily Star: “She’ll be what’s known as a ‘restricted status’ prisoner – the female equivalent of Category A. She’ll be on suicide watch and it will be some time before she gets to mingle with the main prison population – at least six months. Her life for much of the next few years is going to be a lonely one.

“She’ll associate mostly with prison officers, her key worker and one or two cleaners. But much of that interaction will be through the hatch in her cell door. She won’t be able to do much other than read newspapers or books and watch TV. She’ll get one hour of exercise by herself each day. She will be able to phone her family and receive visits from them, but the police will have to vet them first.”

Letby will initially be housed in HMP Bronzefield – the largest women’s prison in Europe and home to some of Britain’s most sadistic killers.

Built on the site of a residential school for orphans in Kent it houses 527 Category A female inmates and is 212 miles from the Chester home of her parents Susan and John – making regular visits difficult.

Leech added that Letby is unlikely to make friends in prison. He continued: “There will almost certainly be people who want to get close to her – but for all the wrong reasons. Any relationship she does build is going nowhere as every other prisoner in there will be released at some point or another.

“This can be difficult mentally as it compounds the sense of isolation. She’s got to come to terms with the gravity of what she’s done, why she did it, and the devastation she’s caused to the lives of others. But she’s got the rest of her life to do that. She’s going nowhere. She will die behind bars.”

Yvonne Jewkes, professor of criminology at the University of Bath, said the main focus for the next few years would be Letby’s safety in jail. “She may well have a price on her head,” she said. “At best she’ll be subjected to extreme bullying and intimidation. At worst she might be in quite considerable physical danger. At first she’ll get a lot of psychological help and psychiatric treatment. It will be a while before she participates in group activities. But they will need to find ways to keep her busy. She might do an Open University degree, or an art therapy course, and she might be given certain small privileges, like access to a computer.

“The question of whether prison is even the best place for her, let alone for the rest of her natural life, has got to be asked. According to the Prison Reform Trust the public believes that sentences are still too lenient despite their lengths increasing over the last 25 years meaning Letby will likely be treated more harshly than someone who committed those crimes a decade ago.”

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