David Fuller: double murderer sentenced to four more years

<span>Photograph: Kent Police/PA</span>
Photograph: Kent Police/PA

A double killer who sexually abused the bodies of at least 101 women and girls in hospital mortuaries was described as “sick and twisted” by victims’ families as he was sentenced for further depraved acts.

David Fuller, 68, is already serving a whole-life sentence for the sexually motivated murders of Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, in two separate attacks in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1987.

After being linked to the murders in 2020, police uncovered the systematic sexual abuse of the corpses of females aged between nine and 100 at the now-closed Kent and Sussex hospital and the Tunbridge Wells hospital, in Pembury, where he had worked in maintenance since 1989.

An examination of Fuller’s computer hard drive at his home in Heathfield, East Sussex, revealed 818,051 images and 504 videos of his abuse as well as evidence of his “persistent interest in rape, abuse and murder of women”.

Last year Fuller pleaded guilty to the two murders and 44 charges relating to 78 females between 2008 and November 2020.

On Wednesday he was sentenced to a further four years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing the bodies of 23 more women aged between 45 and 92, 10 of whom have never been identified.

They include 12 counts of sexual penetration of a corpse and four counts of possession of extreme pornography between 2007 and 2020.

During the sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey, relatives of some of the victims expressed their anger and devastation.

The daughter of a woman who was abused after her death spoke in court of her “absolute disgust” at Fuller’s actions, describing him as a “monster”.

She said her mother did not want to die in hospital and the family declined a postmortem examination because she had been subjected to enough “prodding and poking” during her illness.

On finding out about the abuse, she said: “The pain and emotional upset seared through my body like a knife.

“He took advantage of her helplessness in death where we were unable to protect her.”

Addressing the defendant in the dock, she said: “David, I want you to know how much damage you have caused, how your sick and twisted behaviour has damaged families like mine.

“I’m pleased you are now being held accountable for what you did only seven hours after she died.”

A father said he could not put into words how “disturbing” it was to find out what happened to his daughter at Fuller’s hands.

The brother of another victim said: “He has caused complete and utter devastation.

“David Fuller has tainted every single memory I have of my sister. All I can think of is what he did to my sister when she was supposed to be resting.”

In mitigation, Catherine Donnelly accepted that Fuller’s offences had caused profound harm to a “significant” number of people.

In a televised sentencing, Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb handed Fuller four more years’ custody, but added: “You will remain in prison until your death.”