Allitt callously killed at least four innocent babies in her care while she worked as a nurse

Allitt callously killed at least four innocent babies in her care while she worked as a nurse

BEVERLEY Allitt callously killed at least four innocent babies in her care while she worked as a nurse at Grantham Hospital in Lincolnshire.

After medical staff raised the alarm and an extensive investigation ensued, Allitt was finally caught. But where is she now and how were her crimes exposed?

Who is Beverley Allitt?

Allitt, 50, nicknamed the Angel of Death, is a convicted baby killer.

In 1987, 18-year-old Allitt left school with just a handful of qualifications, before beginning nurse training at Grantham College.

Her medical records from 1985 showed a psychologically disturbed individual, prone to self-harm.

Often absent from the course due to “illness”, Allitt was the only student nurse who failed to get a job.

But after being turned down for positions at a number of hospitals, she was offered a six-month contract at Grantham & Kesteven Hospital.

Despite being under-qualified, she was taken on in December 1990 due to severe staff shortages on Ward Four, where children were cared for.

Beverley Allitt, pictured here in her nursing uniform, killed four babies and attacked several more in hospital.

In 1991 and the age of 22, the twisted former nurse went on a deadly killing spree at a children’s ward at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, Lincs,.

While left alone with her victims, Allitt committed the murders either by insulin or potassium overdose, or injecting an air bubble into the bloodstream, which can cause lung collapse.

Police and medical staff were initially unable to establish how the attacks were carried out.

Years after the attacks, doctors believe she suffered from the psychological disorder M√ľnchausen syndrome or M√ľnchausen syndrome by proxy.

Munchausen’s syndrome involves inflicting or faking physical or psychological symptoms for attention, while Munchausen’s by proxy – an escalation of the syndrome – involves harming others to create attention.

Who were her victims?

Liam Taylor

Allitt’s first victim was seven week old Liam Taylor, who was admitted with a chest infection. With antibiotics, he began to improve, so his parents were sent home to rest.

But mysteriously Liam suddenly took a turn for the worse.

Despite being hooked up to alarms to monitor his breathing and oxygen levels, doctors were only alerted by Allitt.

He was put on life support, but died of a heart attack in his mum’s arms a day later.

Consultants on the ward were confused by Liam’s dramatic relapse, and there were questions asked as to why the alarms didn’t sound in time.

Timothy Hardwick

Timothy Hardwick, 11, had cerebral palsy and was admitted to the ward after suffering an epileptic seizure.

He was murdered on March 5, 1991.

Becky & Katie Phillips

Becky Phillips, two months old, was admitted to the ward for gastroenteritis on April 1, 1991.

She was given an insulin overdose by Allitt and died at home two days later.

Doctors were concerned that whatever had caused Becky’s death could also affect her identical twin Katie, so she was admitted to hospital for monitoring.

This genuine concern actually put Katie in harm’s way and in direct contact with Allitt.

Within hours, the nurse attempted to kill Katie four times by suffocation and injections of insulin and potassium.

Katie was put on life support, suffered epileptic fits and was eventually transferred to Queen’s Medical Centre, away from the nurse who had attempted to kill her.

She was left epileptic and paralysed as a result of Allitt’s actions.

By the time Katie was transferred, security had been stepped up at the hospital to increase public confidence, but the police weren’t made aware of the situation.
Claire Peck

Claire Peck, 15 months, was admitted to the ward after suffering an asthma attack on April 22, 1991.

After being put on a ventilator, she was left in Allitt's care and then went into cardiac arrest.

She was resuscitated but died after a second episode of the cardiac arrest - during a second interval when she was left alone with Allitt.

The toddler became the fourth child to die on the ward in two months.

Five other children, aged between two months and five years old, survived twisted Allitt's attacks - including one tot who was left with severe learning difficulties after the attack.

Kayley Desmond

Kayley, now 29, almost died when Allitt injected her with air at the Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, Lincs in 1991.

She was resuscitated after being injected with an air bubble that caused her lungs to collapse and triggered two cardiac arrests.

Her mum Sharon said: "You take a child to hospital and you think they are in the best place. This cannot be put in jeopardy. The families of Allitt's victims can never get over what she did.

"Kayley is on anti-depressants to treat anxiety as she fears Allitt will come back to get her."

Where is Beverley Allitt now?

Medical staff raised the alarm after becoming suspicious of the number of cardiac arrests on the children's ward.

Police were finally called on April 30.

Detectives examined the nursing time sheets for all the deaths and events, and one name appeared every time: Beverley Allitt.

Allitt was suspended from duties immediately as investigators began to examine each individual case, and the one that stood out to them was Paul Crampton.

The pathology report revealed that Paul had 43,147 milliunits of insulin in his blood – one of the highest levels ever found in a human.

Police believed that Allitt had injected a whole adult syringe of insulin into his body.

Pages from the ward allocation log at the time of Paul’s admission had also been ripped out, and investigators concluded that syringes full of insulin or potassium chloride were Allitt’s favoured murder weapons – the drugs either inducing lethal hypoglycaemia or cardiac arrest in the victims.

Police painstakingly built a case against the nurse, and a long list of experts were consulted to prove beyond doubt the Ward Four deaths weren’t the result of natural causes.

During a search at Allitt’s house, the missing pages from the ward allocation book were found in a drawer.

Although Allitt was the only nurse on duty during every attack, she pleaded not guilty at trial.

She was found guilty on May 28, 1993, and given 13 life sentences, with a minimum of 30 years.

She was convicted of four counts of murder, three att­em­pted murders and six counts of GBH.

She was given 13 life sentences, with a minimum of 30 years.

She has since admitted, in writing, to all 13 crimes that she was convicted for.

The twisted baby-killer reportedly battled suspected sepsis in 2018.

The 52-year-old is being held at a high-security psychiatric hospital but her minimum sentence tariff of 30 years expires in November.

If she is deemed fit to transfer to a prison, she will be given the right to apply for parole, or early release.