"13 life sentences still not enough"
After numerous delays due to her "illnesses," (as a result of which she had lost 5 stone in weight) she went to trial at Nottingham Crown Court on 15 February 1993, where prosecutors demonstrated to the jury how she had been present at each suspicious episode, and the lack of episodes when she was taken off the ward. Evidence about high readings of insulin and potassium in each of the victims, as well as drug injection and puncture marks, were also linked to Allitt. She was further accused of cutting off her victim’s oxygen, either by smothering, or by tampering with machines.
Her unusual behaviour in childhood was brought to light and the paediatrics expert, Professor Roy Meadow, explained Munchausen’s syndrome and Munchausen’s by Proxy syndrome to the jury, pointing out how Allitt demonstrated symptoms of both, as well as introducing evidence of her typical post-arrest behaviour, and high incidence of illness, which had delayed the start of her trial. It was Professor Meadows’ opinion that Beverley Allitt would never be cured, making her a clear danger to anyone with whom she might come in contact.
After a trial that lasted nearly two months (and at which Allitt attended only 16 days due to continued illness), Allitt was convicted on 23 May 1993, and given 13 life sentences for murder and attempted murder. It was the harshest sentence ever delivered to a female but, according to Mr Justice Latham, it was commensurate with the horrific suffering of the victims, their families, and the ignominy she had brought upon nursing as a profession. Indeed, the impact on the Grantham & Kesteven Hospital was so severe that the Maternity Unit was closed down altogether.