Father maintains Allitt's innocence

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BEVERLY ALLITT'S father yesterday said he believed his daughter was innocent and that he would be urging her to appeal against conviction.

Richard Allitt, 49, of Corby Glen, near Grantham, Lincolnshire, said: 'We believe Beverly is innocent because we do not think she had it in her to do the things they say she did.

'She has always looked after babies in the village and lots of parents have trusted her with their children. They thought she was marvellous.

'Two families gave character references when she was arrested. She used to bath their babies, dress them and also get them ready for bed.

'When someone had a baby she would tag on to them and help them look after the child.'

Mr Allitt, his wife Lilian, 45, and their other three children, Donna, 28, Darren, 18, and Alison, 21, have been regularly visiting Rampton Hosptial, where Allitt is awaiting sentence for murdering four children.

He said Donna had let her hold her eight-month-old daughter, Katie, during the visits. Mr Allitt said: 'She spends most of the time in the arms of her Auntie Beverly. We have always had complete trust in her and still do.'

Mr Allitt, a delivery man, added: 'We have always been law abiding citizens and none of us have ever been in any sort of trouble. But I am not too sure about the law now: there are a lot of people who have been wrongly locked away. There are always two sides to every story.'

Mr Allitt said he spoke to his daughter, who is suffering from anorexia nervosa, almost every night.

'Health-wise she is not brilliant but mentally she is all right. Obviously she is upset but she is pretty calm and has some good people looking after her,' he said.

'I hope we can start getting back to the family we were two years ago when we went to the Isle of Wight together, including Beverly.'