Baby killer Lucy Letby to be kept from other inmates over safety fearsAugust 27, 2023
Lucy Letby will be kept apart from other inmates over fears for her safety: Nurse will be placed on 24-hour suicide watch in segregation wing and escorted by officers at all times as she begins whole-life term at HMP Low Newton
- Letby was given a whole life sentence meaning she will likely die behind bars
Baby killer Lucy Letby is to face a life of isolation as she rots behind bars, caged in a maximum security jail and locked away from fellow inmates who want to attack her.
The most prolific child serial killer in modern British history murdered seven newborns and tried to kill six more, in a depraved spree that sent shockwaves through the nation.
In an unprecedented move, the ‘cruel and calculating’ NHS nurse was given a whole life order for her heinous crimes, meaning she will almost certainly die behind bars.
Letby became the fourth woman to receive a whole life sentence after Myra Hindley, Rose West and serial killer Joanna Dennehy – who murdered three men in a 10-day spree in 2013
It is likely Letby, 33, will be jailed in HMP Low Newton in Durham. But her time there will be bleak. Experts say given many inmates are unable to see their own children, Letby’s crimes will strike a cord with caged mothers, who will want to attack her.
Lucy Letby will spend the rest of her life behind bars after being given a whole life order by Mr Justice Goss
Former inmates at HMP Low Newton include House of Horrors killer Rose West and Baby P’s mother Tracey Connelly
This is one of the general population prison cells in HMP Low Newton where Letby will serve her life sentence. She is likely to be kept segregated from other inmates would want to attack her
At first the killer – who cowered in her cell during her sentencing hearing on Monday rather than face the bereaved relatives whose lives she destroyed – will be kept in the prison’s hospital wing to assess her mental and physical health before then being moved to a cell of her own. She will also be on24-hour suicide watch.
READ MORE: Lucy Letby will die in jail: Serial killer given 14 whole life orders for every baby she murdered and tried to kill – but refused to face court in last act of wickedness after families told how ‘Devil’ nurse destroyed their lives
Tania Bassett, press officer for Napo, the trade union and professional association for probation and family court staff, said the ex-neonatal nurse will be ‘at risk’ from other inmates seeking to dish out their own jailhouse revenge for her crimes.
‘Infanticide can conjure a lot of strong emotions and a huge number of those women in prison will be separated from their children,’ she told The Times.
‘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.
‘How long she is segregated will depend on how strong the emotions towards her are from other prisoners, but it’s likely that will be a long time.’
Letby was convicted on Friday of murdering seven babies and attempting to kill six other infants at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
The ruthless 33-year-old deliberately injected babies with air, force fed others milk and poisoned two of the infants with insulin, leaving her defenceless victims to die in excruciating agony.
She could now serve life behind bars with the country’s most depraved murderers at a jail where inmates have the chance to go shopping, pet baby animals and decorate their cells pink.
Past prisoners at Low Newton have included Cromwell Street killer Rose West, Baby P’s mother Tracey Connelly and Britain’s youngest female murderer Sharon Carr, who randomly selected and killed her victim when she was 12.
Ruthless Letby deliberately injected babies with air, force fed others milk and poisoned two of the infants with insulin, leaving her defenceless victims to die in excruciating agony (she is pictured during her police interview)
The Rags to Riches shop featured well-known clothing brands which inmates were able to buy
There is also a library at the prison where inmates can borrow books
At the top security prison, killer women get the chance to pet sheep and goats and look after a rabbit and birds as a way to keep them ‘calm’. The scheme was revealed in a report last year by the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMB), a group which ensures prisoners are treated humanely behind bars.
READ MORE: The house where child-killer Lucy Letby was first arrested: Inside modest £179k home where detectives found key evidence which helped convict nurse of murdering babies – including damning Post-it note saying: ‘I AM EVIL, I DID THIS’
HMP Low Newton is next door to the so-called Monster Mansion of HMP Frankland, which holds Soham murders killer Ian Huntley, Wayne Couzens and Levi Bellfield.
If and when she is put into the main prison population, Letby will likely have access to the Rags to Riches shop which sells clothing to inmates.
The general population wing also features cells in which some level of room personalisation is allowed.
Photographs from a previous inspection show pink towelling and beauty products are also available.
Letby was originally held in HMP Bronzefield in Surrey, but was subsequently moved to HMP New Hall in Wakefield for the trial.
After sentencing today she will be taken to Low Newton, which is located in the village of Brasside near Durham.
Rose West was moved to Low Newton from HMP Bronzefield in Ashford, Middlesex – where Letby had been serving her time on remand – after prisoners were found to be plotting to batter her with pool balls. West is now at HM New Hall, Flockton, Yorkshire, after being convicted in 1995 of ten murders.
The most notorious inmate currently in Low Newton is Dennehy, along with Kilburn murderer Emma Aitken.
Aitken was jailed for life for the murder of Barry Smith, whose beaten and burnt body was discovered outside Kilburn Welfare Social Club in Derbyshire in 2013. Her dad Vincent Aitken and boyfriend Nathan Dohert were also jailed for life.
As a multiple child killer, Letby will be viewed with extreme hostility by most behind bars and likely placed into the prison’s segregation unit at first.
Serial killer Joanna Dennehy is an inmate at HMP Low Newton, where she can pet sheep and goats to keep calm
Rosemary West used to shared recipes for Victoria sponge cake with her fellow inmates while she was in prison
Letby will be in HMP Low Newton in Durham alongside Joanna Dennehy, who slayed three men during a 10-day spree in 2013
The area can hold up to three women and lacks some facilities.
If the scheme is still running, Letby will also be allowed to pet sheep and goats as therapy for inmates. As well as those animals, the prison also has a resident rabbit and two birds which are looked after by prisoners.
The scheme was revealed in a new report by the Independent Monitoring Boards, which ensures prisoners are treated humanely.
The IMB noted that petting the animals had a ‘calming effect’ on even the most ‘challenging’ of prisoners.
Low Newton — a maximum security jail and Young Offender Institution — is considered a leader in changing the behaviour of dangerous female offenders.
It is home to the ‘Primrose Project’, designed to treat women with ‘dangerous and severe personality disorders’ — the only women’s prison in the UK with such a unit.
It is thought to be the only high security jail in the country to be operating a ‘petting’ scheme, although some lower category prisons do.
Tracey Connelly, the mother of Baby P, and Rose West were all former inmates at the prison
During the period of the IMB report — March 2021 to February last year — the jail had 10 pregnant inmates and introduced ‘memory boxes’ for prisoners to help them cope with the stress of being separated from their child.
Letby will be the subject of psychological inquiries and reports, and will become the ‘patient’ of various would-be therapists and healers, whether she wants it or not.
Inspection reports on the jail said: ‘Cells were not well equipped with only a bed, toilet and sink.
‘The regime was limited with only an hour a day in the open air and half an hour to complete daily tasks, such as showering.’
The Ministry of Justice and Prison Service refused to comment to MailOnline about where Letby would serve her sentence, adding that they don’t give information on individual cases.
Letby will remain a suicide risk, and staff would be heavily – and very publicly – criticised if such a prominent prisoner were to take her own life.
A suicide watch cannot be continued indefinitely, however – certainly not for years or decades, as it places too great a strain on the staff.
It is a matter of judgment when a watch is lifted, and it is not a precise science.
Baby P’s mother Tracey Connelly was released from HMP Low Newton last year. She was also eligible for the petting scheme
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