Families of dead women abused by mortuary monster David Fuller will get six-figure NHS payouts

1 December 2022, 19:36 | Updated: 1 December 2022, 20:00

David Fuller and his murder victims
David Fuller and his murder victims. Picture: Kent Police/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Relatives of the women abused by David Fuller in NHS morgues will get up to £100,000 in compensation from the health service.

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Fuller, 68, who abused more than 100 dead women and children in NHS facilities while working as an electrician, also murdered two women in 1987.

He was jailed for life last December for his horrific crimes. His youngest victim was just 9, and his oldest was 100.

And a relative of at least one of the victims committed suicide after learning of the abuse.

Now the Maidstone and Tonbridge NHS Trust has agreed to pay out, in a compensation scheme for the families.

David Fuller
David Fuller. Picture: Kent Police

Solicitors representing 80 of the families say the average payout would be £25,000 to £30,000. A small number could get more than 100,000.

Ben Davey, senior chartered legal executive representing the families, said: "It is a national scandal that David Fuller was able to perpetuate his offences on NHS property over such a long period of time.

"The families of each of the victims have had a difficult enough time as it is grieving for the death of a loved one.

"They have then had the additional trauma on top of this of learning that their family member's corpse was abused whilst under the care of the NHS.

"I am pleased that this compensation scheme that has been agreed recognises that payments must be made to the family members, and makes appropriate provision for psychological treatment where it is reasonably required."

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Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said in a statement on Thursday: "The Trust is pleased that a compensation scheme has now been agreed and approved by the Department of Health and Social Care for the families of the victims of David Fuller's mortuary crimes.

"The Trust is grateful to the families for the input they have provided into the design of the scheme.'The Trust wishes to apologise once again for the hurt Fuller's horrendous crimes have caused the families and understands that no amount of compensation can lessen the pain they have suffered as a result of his actions.

"The Trust hopes that the agreed compensation scheme will provide a fair and swift process for victims' families and ensure family members are able to access any additional support they may need."

Knell beat and strangled 25-year-old Wendy Knell and 20-year-old Caroline Pierce to death and sexually assaulted them in separate attacks in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1987.

Ms Knell was found dead at her flat while Ms Pierce, who was abducted five months later in November 1987, was found naked in a dyke in December of that year.

Read more: Boy, 12, left with 'significant burns' by thugs who set fire to him - after asking if he 'wanted to see a magic trick'

The depraved electrician - who had access to morgues via use of a swipe card - also filmed himself abusing corpses, including a nine-year-old girl and a 100-year-old woman, in hospital mortuaries.

It is now believed he abused 101 victims in morgues. The sick crimes took place over 12 years before he was arrested in December 2020.

Police found Fuller kept images of himself attacking the corpses after officers searched his home in Heathfield, East Sussex, where he lived with his family.

He was given a life sentence last year, when a judge described him as a "vulture", targeting the dead in morgues at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and at the former Kent and Sussex Hospital.

He ultimately pleaded guilty to the murders of Ms Knell and Ms Pierce and 51 other offences, including 44 charges relating to 78 victims in mortuaries. Kent Police said its investigation found 23 further victims, all dead adult women. Ten have not been identified.

Fuller, appearing via videolink at Croydon Crown Court from HMP Frankland, admitted:

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

The Government has ordered an inquiry into how he evaded justice for so long between the murders and his arrest.

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