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A former hospital worker who abused female corpses has been sentenced for additional “heinous” acts

David Fuller has been sentenced at the Old Bailey for further charges relating to sexual offences committed in a mortuary setting.

Fuller, 68, had previously received two whole life sentences on 15 December 2021, after pleading guilty at Maidstone Crown Court to the murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in 1987.

At the same time, he was given concurrent sentences totalling 12 years, in respect of sexual offences against 78 deceased females at mortuaries in Tunbridge Wells Hospital and at the former Kent and Sussex Hospital.

Charges for remaining victims

Since then, a Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate investigation has provided evidence of a further 23 victims (making a total of 101 deceased females abused in these mortuary settings, between 2005 and 2020).

An extensive and complex identification process has led to 13 of these further victims being formally identified.

It has not been possible to establish the identities of the other 10, however the following charges – which Fuller pleaded guilty to at Croydon Crown Court on 3 November 2022 – reflect offending against all 23 victims:

  • 10 charges under section 70 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. These relate to offences involving 10 identified victims.
  • Two further charges under section 70 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. These relate to offences involving three unidentified victims.
  • Two charges under section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. These relate to the possession of extreme pornography in connection with 13 identified victims.
  • Two further charges under section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. These relate to the possession of extreme pornography in connection with 10 unidentified victims.

On Wednesday 7 December 2022, Fuller was brought from prison before the Old Bailey, in connection with these remaining 23 victims.

The Honourable Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb QC, sentenced him to four years, to be served concurrently.

She said: ‘Among those you abused were women who had lived fulfilling lives. They did not lose their dignity until you took it from them.’

She also described the offences as an ‘astonishing breach of trust’, that he had ‘no regard for the dignity of the dead’ and ‘shown no evidence of genuine remorse’.

Ensuring justice for all

Detective Superintendent Ivan Beasley added: ‘Our absolute and unequivocal priority from day one has been ensuring justice for every single victim violated by Fuller’s systematic and unimaginably depraved offending.

‘Today’s sentencing will mean little to this abhorrent individual, who throughout our investigation has demonstrated no remorse and only a capacity for self-pity.

‘His crimes have led to immeasurable suffering and inconceivable trauma to the lives of hundreds of daughters, sons, parents and other loved ones of all those he abused.

‘This has been an unparalleled investigation for Kent Police in terms of the scale and unique challenges faced by our officers and staff. I’m immensely proud of their collective determination to ensure no stone remained unturned and that every conceivable enquiry and fragment of information connected to Fuller, stretching back more than 40 years, has been fully investigated.

‘There is no evidence to connect him to any further mortuary offences and I do hope that now these enquiries have finally drawn to a close that all those affected by Fuller’s crimes can take some comfort, knowing that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.’

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