David Fuller: Health secretary announces inquiry into necrophiliac's 'shocking' crimes and apologises to victims' families

·2-min read

The health secretary has announced an independent inquiry into necrophiliac David Fuller's crimes and has apologised to victims' families.

Fuller, a 67-year-old hospital electrician, admitted murdering, then sexually assaulting two women over 30 years ago, and also admitted to sexually assaulting dozens of dead bodies in the morgue of the hospital where he worked.

He used access granted to him as an NHS maintenance worker to assault his victims, aged from nine to a 100-year-old, in mortuaries in Kent.

The inquiry will look into the circumstances surrounding the crimes to help the government understand how they took place without being detected, as well as identify any areas where early action by the trust involved had been necessary.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "I want to apologise to the friends and families of all the victims for the crimes that were perpetrated in the care of the NHS and for the hurt and suffering they are feeling.

"I know that no apology can undo the pain and suffering caused by these offences, but with such serious issues of dignity and security we have a duty to look at what happened in detail, and make sure it never happens again."

Reporting to Mr Javid, the inquiry will be split into two parts, with an interim report published early next year.

The second report will look at "the broader national picture" and the wider lessons for the NHS and other settings.

The terms of reference for the inquiry will be published "in due course".

Sir Jonathan Michael, an experienced NHS executive asked to chair the inquiry, will ask the families of the victims for input into the process and his findings will be made public.

Mr Javid said the government has "a responsibility to everyone affected by these shocking crimes, to do right by those we've lost and those still left behind".

He said settings that "rightly need to be looked at" include not only hospitals but also local authority mortuaries, private mortuaries and undertakers.

The health secretary said the inquiry would look into the lack of DBS checks at the time David Fuller was first employed, and why subsequent checks failed to pick up his previous convictions.

"It is clear from this case that the whole issue around checks for employment, especially DBS checks, especially in not just hospital settings but in the settings of mortuary and undertaker, I think all of this needs to be looked at afresh," he said.

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