Double murderer sexually abused bodies of 102 women and girls, court told

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Double murderer David Fuller sexually abused the bodies of at least 102 women and girls aged between nine and 100, a court has heard.

The hospital electrician, 67, beat and strangled Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, to death before sexually assaulting them in two separate attacks in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1987.

He was caught 33 years later after a DNA breakthrough and a search of his home revealed he had recorded himself abusing bodies in the mortuaries of hospitals over more than a decade.

Fuller is facing a life sentence on Wednesday after pleading guilty to murdering Ms Knell and Ms Pierce days into his Maidstone Crown Court trial after previously admitting manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

David Fuller court case
Caroline Pierce was killed by David Fuller (Family/PA)

They include the sexual penetration of a corpse, possessing an extreme pornographic image involving sexual interference with a corpse and taking indecent images of children.

Fuller filmed himself carrying out the attacks inside the now-closed Kent and Sussex Hospital and the Tunbridge Wells Hospital, in Pembury, where he had worked in electrical maintenance roles since 1989.

“David Fuller systematically and repeatedly sexually abused the bodies of dead women and girls,” said prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC.

“It is estimated over the course of his offending he abused at least 102 women.”

He said they included a nine-year-old girl, two 16-year-olds and a woman aged 100.

Police know the names of 82 of the victims but a further 20 have not been identified and may never be, said Mr Atkinson.

Some, including the mother of the nine-year-old girl, attended court to face Fuller.

She said: “My pain – the guilt that I feel because I left her in that hospital, the one that’s meant to be a safe place.

“I have nothing, no way of closure, how will I make it up to her? How will I stand by her side now, and how will I nurse that little body that has been ruined and disrespected by that vile man?

“I am standing up for her now in front of him.

“It will haunt me forever and the rest of my life.”

She added: “I will go home tonight, like every night, and see the abuse that man has done to my baby.

“That man has taken everything from me.”

The father of an 18-year-old victim said: “The only bit of comfort we held on to was how peaceful she looked when we said our goodbyes.

“This was destroyed when we got a knock on the door by the police to say she had been violated by a man my wife had grown up in fear of.

“Fuller has taken our little girl’s innocence and destroyed our souls. I am consumed with anger.”

The widower of another woman told him: “David, when you are serving your time behind bars, think carefully about what you have done and thank your lucky stars that I’m not sharing a cell with you.”

The Government has announced an independent inquiry into how Fuller went undetected and promised to look at the maximum sentence for necrophilia, which is currently two years in jail.

Ms Knell was found dead in her apartment in Guildford Road on June 23 1987 while Ms Pierce was snatched five months later on November 24 outside her home in Grosvenor Park.

David Fuller court case
Wendy Knell was killed in 1987 (Family/PA)

Fuller was arrested for what have been dubbed the “Bedsit Murders” on December 3 last year following new analysis of decades-old DNA evidence, which linked him to the killings.

Images of him attacking corpses, described in court as a “library of unimaginable sexual depravity”, were discovered when officers searched his three-bedroom semi-detached home in the town of Heathfield, East Sussex, where he lived with his family.

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