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Lucy Letby refuses to appear in court and face families as people call for law change

Lucy Letby refuses to appear in court and face families as people call for law change

She did not appear in court for the day of her sentencing

Content warning: the subject matter in this article may be upsetting to some readers

The law on convicted criminals not having to be in court for their sentencing may be changed in the wake of the Lucy Letby trial.

The former nurse was found guilty of seven counts of murdering babies and six further attempted murders of infants.

Today (21 August) is the day of her sentencing, but Letby is not in court to face the families of the babies she murdered and attempted to murder.

Lucy Letby was found guilty of the murder of seven babies and attempting to murder six more.
Handout Photo by Cheshire Constabulary via Getty Images

She instead indicated to the court prior to her guilty verdicts that she would not attend further, with her last day in court being 16 August, while the jury finished giving their verdicts on 18 August.

Mr Justice Goss said the court had no power to force her to attend her sentencing hearing but the government have indicated they will be working to change that.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that the government would be looking at changing the law surrounding criminals being allowed not to appear in court for their sentencing.

He said: "The first thing is to extend my sympathies to everyone affected by this. I think, like everyone reading about this, it’s just shocking and harrowing.

"Now, I think it’s cowardly that people who commit such horrendous crimes do not face their victims and hear first hand the impact that their crimes have had on them and their families and loved ones."

"We are looking and have been at changing the law to make sure that that happens and that’s something that we’ll bring forward in due course."

The potential change in law had been spoken about by the current justice secretary and one of his predecessors.

Manchester Crown Court.
Christopher Furlong / Staff/Getty

Alex Chalk, the current justice secretary, said the government was 'committed' to changing the law so that criminals would be compelled to be present for their sentencing.

Robert Buckland, a former justice secretary, said that if she did not attend then she should have the sentencing hearing broadcast in her cell regardless of her wishes.

Speaking to GB News, he said: "She needs to hear the victim’s personal statements, as impact statements that will really bring home I think, to the wider world, the appalling devastating impact of the loss of these innocent children, these innocent babies, have had upon dozens of families."

Families of Letby's victims have been in court for her sentencing and said 'you are nothing' and 'you are evil'.

Featured Image Credit: Christopher Furlong / Staff/Handout photo by Cheshire Constabulary via Getty Images

Topics: Crime, UK News, Lucy Letby