Kayley Asher, who was left brain damaged, fears Allitt could soon be freed from prison and walk back into her family’s life 30 years after the attack
Thirty years after Beverly Allitt tried to snuff out her young life, Kayley Asher is still haunted by the evil killer nurse.
And the terrified victim, who was left brain damaged, now fears her attacker could soon be freed from prison and walk back into her family’s life.
Allitt was given 13 life sentences in 1993 for killing four babies and harming nine other kids in her care.
The 52-year-old is being held at a high security psychiatric hospital, but her minimum sentence tariff of 30 years expires in November and if she is deemed fit to transfer to a prison she will have the right to apply for parole.
Kayley’s dad Alan, 64, said his daughter, 31, often asks: ‘Will she come and get me?” He added: “Kayley looks under her bed and in her wardrobe for Allitt. This can go on for days and days and often we find her in the early hours of the morning searching.
“A few years back Kayley spent three weeks in hospital and we could see there was a nurse she really didn’t like.
“When she got home she told us she thought it was Allitt.
“I could see the resemblance, she had been terrified all that time.
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“It’s scary to think Allitt could one day be free.
“A whole life tariff would have been appropriate. I can’t see the difference between her and Peter Sutcliffe. We have a genuine fear if she is freed she could walk into our lives one day.
“We are also worried about the possibility she would be given a new identity like Jamie Bulger’s killers.
“Despite the passage of time a lot of people are still very angry so there’s no telling what could happen to her.
“The only way to guarantee her safety would be a new identity and that would leave us looking over our shoulders.”
Kayley was just 15 months old when Allitt, dubbed the “Angel of Death”, tried to kill her on Ward 4 at the Grantham and Kesteven Hospital in Lincs.
She injected a potentially fatal air bubble under the toddler’s arm.
Kayley survived against the odds after having two heart attacks but suffered permanent brain damage. She was later diagnosed with the rare condition kabuki makeup syndrome, meaning she has problems with fine motor skills, mobility and hearing.
Police were called to Grantham Hospital after a series of unexplained deaths on the children’s ward in 1991.
Patients who had been stable and expected to recover inexplicably died while others were left in comas.
When detectives checked staff records they found Allitt had been on duty when all the incidents occurred.
The nurse, who suffered from Munchausen’s by proxy, injected youngsters with air, insulin or other drugs over a 59 day period.
When jailed in 1993 aged 24 the judge told her she was “a serious danger” to others and unlikely ever to be considered safe enough to be freed.
But in 2007 the appeal court ruled Allitt should serve a minimum of 30 years – less one year and 190 days spent in custody pre-sentence.
She has been receiving treatment at Rampton hospital in Nottingham.
It is understood Allitt would have to be cleared by doctors to enter the prison system before any parole bid.
In 2007, the High Court heard consultant forensic psychiatrist Professor Bob Peckitt wrote a report on the killer after being instructed by her solicitors.
He recommended her doctors should work with the prison service to help her “leave hospital if possible to return to an appropriate long-term lifer service”.
Prof Peckitt added: “I emphasise that this process may take a number of years to achieve given the psychopathology of the patient and the length of time that she has already spent in hospital.
“However I think it is inescapable that unless Ms Allitt is going to stagnate, spend her life and die in hospital, opportunities for her rehabilitation must be opened up.”
Former Grantham mayor Alan said locals have not forgiven Allitt for her crimes, with many believing they sparked the demise of the hospital.
He added: “We had a nurses’ training school, maternity unit, full-time A&E unit, and a 24-hour children’s ward.
“But most of that has gone and it seemed that she was the cause.
“Her crimes left an evil feeling on the town. There is a stigma by association which will never go.”
Allitt grew up in the village of Corby Glen, just a short drive from where she preyed on her defenceless victims.
The killer, who had two sisters and a brother, volunteered for baby-sitting jobs as a teenager before leaving school to enrol at nursing college.
Her dad Richard worked in an off-licence and mum Lillian was a school cleaner.
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Alan and his wife Sharon, 61, adopted Kayley as a toddler. The family still live in Grantham. They are strongly opposed to any move to free Allitt.
Alan said: “When the 30 year minimum sentence was given we felt the punishment was good. But now that deadline is on the horizon we will fight any attempt to release her.
“I have no idea what she looks like now.
“I probably wouldn’t even recognise her if she walked past me in the street.”
Because of new rules, it would be down to the Ministry of Justice to refer Allitt to the Parole Board, following legal guidelines. The board last night confirmed her case had not been referred to them at this stage.