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Letby can be forced to face families in court


Last week Judge Goss KC, the judge in Letby’s trial, told the court that he had no power to compel her to attend, saying: “The sentencing hearing will take place whether she is present or not. The court has no power to compel you to attend; therefore, there is nothing you can do about it.”

Courts across the country have reported that an increasing number of offenders are refusing to attend their sentencing hearings. In April, Thomas Cashman, who shot dead nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool, refused to appear in court.

Sir Robert Buckland, the former justice secretary, told GB News that the sentence should be carried over to Letby’s cell regardless of his wishes, and that he should have to hear statements from victims of the families of the babies he murdered.

“My suggestion would be to make sure there is a live broadcast link to the sound cell and/or send footage to make sure Letby has nowhere to hide and actually has to hear what the judge is saying about the case. ” he said.

“More importantly, you need to hear the personal statements of the victims as impact statements that will really bring home, I think, to the rest of the world, the terrible devastating impact that the loss of these innocent children, these innocent babies, has had. over dozens of people. of families.”

Sir Robert said “reasonable force” could be used to ensure an offender attends a hearing, but added it was “difficult to interpret”, telling The Telegraph: “What if she was very violent? What do they do then, and risk injury? What equipment do they have? How do you do it?

“You can imagine it degenerating into a situation where they would have to take her to the dock. Her concern is that she goes back to making everything about herself, and she becomes this vicarious control where she can control the proceedings by her lack of cooperation or otherwise.

“In the absence of changes to the legislation, it is difficult for security officers to get this right, and there will no doubt be concerns about what exactly would happen if she were taken to the dock and then created a disturbance, which means that the judge would probably have to send her back to the cells.

“I believe that dock officers in this situation deserve the utmost protection against defendant handlers.”

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