David Fuller: Independent investigation launched into morgue abuse

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Watch: Javid announces independent inquiry into David Fuller sex attacks on corpses

An independent inquiry has been launched after an electrician sexually abused corpses in two Kent hospital morgues.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced an independent inquiry will be undertaken into the circumstances surrounding the offences committed.

David Fuller admitted to murdering Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in 1987 before he filmed himself carrying out a spate of attacks on dead bodies at mortuaries.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Javid said: “Given the scale and the nature of these sexual offences, I believe that we must go further. Today I can announce that I am replacing the trust investigation with an independent inquiry.

“The inquiry will look into the circumstances surrounding the offences committed at the hospital and their national implications.

“It will help us understand how these offences took place without detection in the trust, identify any areas where early action by this trust was necessary, and then consider wider national issues, including for the NHS.”

Sir Jonathan Michael will chair the inquiry, the Health Secretary said.

The independent inquiry will be split into two parts; firstly it will be an interim report expected “early in the new year” while the second part will take the form of a final report looking at the national picture and wider lessons for the NHS and other settings.

The Health Secretary told the Commons: “We have a responsibility to everyone affected by these shocking crimes to do right by those we’ve lost and those still left behind in their shock and their grief.

“Nothing we can say in this place will undo the damage that has been done, but we must act to make sure that nothing like this can ever happen again.”

The Health Secretary has apologised to the friends and families of all the victims in the wake of the case.

Mr Javid said: “It is a profoundly upsetting case that has involved distressing offences within the health service.

“The victims are not just those family members and friends who have been abused in this most horrific of ways. They are also those that are left behind.

“People who have already experienced such loss and now experience unimaginable pain and anger. They are victims too.

“Even as we look into what exactly happened, as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, 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.”

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