Thursday, 18 Jul 2024

The killers who refused to face their victims in court as Letby avoids dock

Lucy Letby to be sentenced

Fury has erupted as serial baby-killer Lucy Letby has refused to face up to her heinous crimes in court today. 

Letby, the nurse that was convicted last week of the murder of seven babies and attempted murder of six more at the Countess of Chester hospital’s neotatal unit between 2015 and 2016.

It was speculated that Letby could have been physically forced to sit in court to hear the victim impact statements as well as her sentencing. But as the proceedings resumed at around 10am, the convict was nowhere to be seen. 

The sentencing today at Manchester Crown Court is expected to go on for hours, as the victims’ families tell the court how she has affected their lives before the ex-nurse, 33, is given her official sentence.

In Letby’s absence, the judge is expected to dish out a whole life order, meaning she would spend the rest of her days behind bars.

The cowardly move has sparked a fresh layer of outrage, with families from across the UK urging a change in the law to prevent killers from refusing court on their day of sentencing.  

Letby joins the list of other cowardly British killers that dodged their sentencing hearing and refused to face up to what they had done.

Here are the other monsters that failed to face the families and friends of their victims.

READ MORE Parents demand baby-killer Lucy Letby ‘forced into court’ to face families

The killers that chose to avoid their sentencing – and their victims’ families

Cashman, 34, was found guilty of the murder of little girl Olivia Pratt-Korbel, attempted murder, intent to endanger life as well as possession of a revolver with intent to endanger life.

The brute from West Derby refused to enter the dock and be sentenced in front of Olivia’s grieving mother Cheryl Korbel after being found guilty of the murder of the nine-year-old, in Dovecot, Liverpool last August.

The presiding judge Amanda Yip said his decision to swerve the sentencing was “disrespectful to the family of the deceased”.

Sentencing Cashman, Justice Yip said: “The killing of Olivia Pratt-Korbel is an offence that shocked not only the city of Liverpool, but the nation.

“Olivia’s name is likely to be remembered for many years. She should not be remembered only for her dreadful last moments. Her family have spoken today of Olivia in life and of the hopes and dreams for her future, which were so cruelly snatched away.

“It is plain that Olivia was a lovely little girl, who cared for others and brightened the lives of her family and friends. They have suffered an unimaginable loss which they must carry for the rest of their lives.”

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McSweeney refused to attend court for his sentencing in December 2022, after he pleaded guilty to murder and sexual assault.

The 29-year-old was jailed for 38 years for murdering Zara Aleena, a 39-year-old aspiring lawyer, in Ilford, east London last June.

The cowardly killer refused to attend the hearing at the Old Bailey where CCTV was played because he didn’t “want to relive” the events, according to MyLondon.

McSweeney ambushed Zara as she wandered home in Ilford in the early hours of June 26.

He dragged her into a driveway and repeatedly stamped and kicked her body, resulting in serious head injuries. McSweeney also sexually assaulted her in the depraved incident.

The 37-year-old failed to show up in April last year as he was sentenced to 36 years for murdering Sabina Nessa, 28, in Kidbrooke, South East London, in 2021.

Sabina’s family called Koci a “coward” for missing the sentencing.

Selamaj drove to London from Eastbourne to carry out the premeditated attack after he was rejected by his estranged wife.

CCTV captured the moment when Selamaj struck Sabina over the head 34 times with a metal traffic triangle.

Tustin, 33, missed court in December 2021 where she was sentenced to life with a minimum of 29 years after killing toddler Arthur Labinjo-Hughes, in June 2020.

The twisted criminal tortured the six-year-old boy and also pleaded guilty to multiple counts of child cruelty.

At the start of her sentencing on December 3, Judge Wall told the court Tustin at Coventry Crown Court but has decided not to come up into the dock.

Tustin was ‘caring’ for Arthur at her home when she carried out the fatal assault. During the incident she violently shuck the child, repeatedly banging his head most likely against the hallway wall.

White, 36, admitted to brutally strangling his wife Angie, 45, in Swansea, Wales, in October last year before grabbing a knife to cut her throat.

Police found her dead in her bedroom with sharp farce trauma to her neck and a severed jugular vein.

He refused to attend court last month when he was given life with a minimum of 20 years and 10 months.

Angie’s family said in a statement: “We would like to thank all family, friends, the public and South Wales Police for all the support given throughout this extremely trying time.

“Daniel White admitted his guilt but continued to use his manipulative behaviour to delay the outcome: claims of extenuating circumstances, missed court and video appearances.

“Even today at sentencing he deliberately absences himself in what we see as his continuing attempts to control this situation and his cowardness in avoiding facing us and justice for what he did for Angie.

“We are grateful for the sturdy and watertight case presented by South Wales Police detectives which has led to him to face his full punishment. We would like to thank the investigation team for all their efforts.”

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The 50-year-old was a no-show at the Old Bailey in February where he received 39 years for the killings of girlfriend Sharon Pickles, 46, and Clinton Ashmore, 59, in Westminster, both in August 2021.

One of the murders was planned, the Old Bailey heard, and Mr Ashmore was attacked in a “fit of rage.”

When police visited Ms Pickles’ home in central London, they found her body wrapped up and hidden in a bed with a signed confession nearby. Later that day, he was seen on CCTV footage walking with Mr Ashmore towards his flat.

Giving evidence, he insisted he was not a monster.

Russell was supposed to appear in Warwick Crown Court last year to get his whole life order for murdering Nicole McGregor, David Williams and his mother Julie Williams in 2020.

He admitted the murders during a seven-day campaign of crime. He was also found guilty of raping Nicole McGregor, who awas 18 weeks’ pregnant at the time.

The judge told Russell in his absence: “None of these crimes was random or motiveless. I have no doubt that this is a case which falls fairly and squarely within the description of being exceptionally serious. There were three murders – each was separated in time and location.

“Each was the result of a separate murderous act which was sustained and brutal. Each involved the use of very significant violence.”

A killer who torched a mothers’ body in an oil drum and forced another to live in a barn was jailed for at least 49 years.

Former builder Brown, 41, killed Leah Ware and Alexandra Morgan at a farm near St Leonards, East Sussex, in 2021.

He was sentenced in his his absence in January at Hove Crown Court for killing the sex workers.

The father of three told a friend he was a psychopath with a conscience. At the time of his sentencing, he refused to attend court and remained in his prison cell.

Serial killer Levi Bellfield, 53, never left his cell while he was sentenced to life without parole for the murder and abduction of Milly Dowler, 13, in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey back in March 2002. It was a crime that shocked the nation and led to one of the biggest missing people searches in the UK.

Investigators were able to link Bellfield to the murder – he was already in prison for murder and attempted murder.

The former bouncer and wheel clamper had a particular hatred of blonde women and trawled the streets of London looking for victims.

To follow the sentencing of Lucy Letby live, press here.

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