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Killer nurse gets 13 life sentences in Britain

LONDON -- A judge sentenced former nurse Beverley Allitt to 13 life sentences Friday for a murder spree in the children's ward of a central England hospital that left four children dead and nine injured.

Justice David Latham said during sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court that he saw little chance of Allitt, 24, ever being released.

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'You are cunning and manipulative and you have shown no remorse for the trail of destruction you have left behind you,' Latham said.

'There is no real prospect that a time will come when you can safely be released,' he added.

Allitt, who had been treated at Rampton high-security hospital near Lincoln central England for a severe case of the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, appeared in the dock for the first time Friday since her trial began two months ago.

She sat with downcast eyes throughout the hearing, in which she was sentenced for four counts of murder, three of attempted murder and six of causing grievous bodily harm while she worked on the children's ward of the Grantham and Kesteven General Hospital in central England in 1991.

Two medical specialists who examined Allitt told the court the former nurse was psychologically disturbed and was suffering from a disorder called 'Munchausen's syndrome by proxy' -- a condition that causes sufferers to inflict injury on themselves or others in a bid to gain attention.

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Parents of the slain children who spoke to reporters outside the court expressed relief at the sentences.

'We are very pleased -- 13 life sentences is what we hoped for and that's exactly what we've got. I only hope it's at Her Majesty's pleasure and she's never released,' Judith Gibson, mother of one of the slain children, told ITN television news.

Whether Allitt will serve her sentences in a hospital or a prison was to be determined at a later date by the home secretary.

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