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Nurse Lucy Letby to be sentenced for murdering seven babies

The 33-year-old was also convicted of trying to kill six other infants at the Countess of Chester Hospital. The trial lasted for more than 10 months and is believed to be the longest murder trial in the UK. She has indicated she will not be in court for the hearing. Her legal team said she also does not want to follow proceedings via a videolink from prison, the reasons for her non-attendance at Manchester Crown Court have not been disclosed. If Letby does fail to show up to the hearing, she will not hear the families' victim impact statements - where people have a chance to tell the court about how a crime has affected them and those around them. She will also not hear the judge, Mr Justice James Goss, give his sentencing remarks where he will explain the reasons for the length of the prison sentence handed down to her.

Letby - who deliberately injected babies with air, force fed others milk and poisoned two of the infants with insulin between June 2015 and June 2016 - refused to appear in the dock as the latest verdicts were read out on Friday. They had been delivered over several hearings, but could not be reported until all the verdicts were returned. Letby, originally of Hereford, broke down in tears as the first guilty verdicts were read out by the jury's foreman on 8 August after 76 hours of deliberations. She cried with her head bowed as the second set of guilty verdicts were returned on 11 August. The refusal to attend court last week has led to renewed calls for a new law to compel convicted criminals to attend court for sentencing hearings. Letby's expected absence from the dock is the latest in a series of high-profile trials where convicted murderers have refused to turn up, including the killers of Zara Aleena in London and nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool. Former prison governor Prof Ian Acheson told the BBC judges should have the power to compel criminals into the courtroom "to be sentenced in front of the people they have harmed".  Earlier this year, the government said it was committed to introducing legislation to ensure criminals are made to appear in the dock for sentencing.

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