Vicky Whitfield recalls experience with Lucy Letby
Lucy Letby may be moved to a Category B prison should she prove herself to prison authorities, Express.co.uk has been told.
An inquiry has been opened to investigate how the neonatal nurse managed to murder seven babies at the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester.
Letby was given a whole life sentence for the killing spree, as well as attempting to kill six more while on shift, meaning she will spend the rest of her life behind bars.
She was not found guilty of a further two attempted murders, and the jury also failed to reach verdicts on another six during the 10-month trial.
While she is currently being held in Britain’s highest-security women’s prison, a former criminal defence lawyer has said it is possible that she will in the future be moved to a more lenient facility — despite her heinous crimes.
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Letby is in HMP Low Newton, the women’s equivalent of a Category A prison, whose inmates pose an extreme danger to public or national security if they were to escape.
She will be isolated and on 24-hour suicide watch, but Dylan Rhys Jones, who represented notorious serial killer Peter Moore in the Nineties, said this wouldn’t always be the case.
“Prisoners are entitled to perks and privileges,” he said. “But is in the fullness of time, and that is on the basis of assessments that are made by prison authorities.
“They have to be satisfied that Letby, as a prisoner, is not vulnerable in herself, not vulnerable to reprisal attacks from inmates in prison which certainly in the early years is going to be something that is a possibility.
“They’ve got to be satisfied that she’s not a danger to others — there’s a lot to take into consideration. Maybe in time, decades, restrictions on her will be eased and she will be moved from a Category A prison to a Category B prison, which is a bit more relaxed, and less secure.
“But she’s going to be in that Category A secure system for a long time because of her vulnerability and because of the crimes she’s committed, and because of the fact that somebody may decide within the prison system to have their own form of justice put upon her.”
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Certain privileges may be available to Letby as she serves her sentence.
It has been reported that she may be able to pet sheep and goats as therapy for inmates as part of a new scheme which ensures prisoners are treated humanely.
The prison also has a resident rabbit and two birds which are looked after by inmates
Letby may be able to shop at HMP Low Newton’s ‘Rags to Riches’ clothes shop, which sells donated clothing to inmates including clothes for court and funerals, maternity wear and some clothing from transgender prisoners.
“But these sorts of things may not be available to her for many, many years,” My Rhys Jones added.
Letby is expected to remain at the maximum-security prison for at least 20 years.
In this time she will undergo regular mental and physical health assessments to gauge how she is processing and coming to terms with life behind bars.
She will be able to exercise in the prison yard for one hour a day. It is widely believed that she will spend 22 hours every day isolated in her cell.
Regular contact will be allowed between her and her parents, as well as any friends, with prisoners allowed a one-hour visit every four weeks.
Previous serial killer inmates who served at HMP Low Newton could be blueprints for how Letby is treated.
Rose West, who collaborated with her husband Fred in the torture and murder of at least nine young women between 1973 and 1987, was transferred to a lower security prison after serving a number of years and is even thought to have been allowed to take part in prison book clubs and baking contests.
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