'Honey monster' who murdered woman, 33, and mutilated her body in Nineties jailed after boasting he got away with it

26 May 2023, 14:34

David Smith has finally been jailed for Ms Crump's murder
David Smith has finally been jailed for Ms Crump's murder. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A "sadistic sexual killer" has been jailed for murdering an escort and mutilating her body 30 years ago after he boasted about getting away with it.

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David Smith, 67, had been acquitted of killing Sarah Crump in 1993 but her mother correctly warned he would go on to kill again.

Ms Crump, 33, had worked as a psychiatric nurse and lived a secret life as an escort.

She was killed in Southall, West London, in 1991, and the monster cut her breasts off and sliced her chest open to place her organs on the bed at her home.

But after boasting he thought he had got away with the killing, he has finally been convicted after new evidence was presented to court.

"I must sentence you for this abhorrent murder which was, I am sure, both sexual and sadistic in nature," Mr Justice Bryan said, giving him a life sentence with a minimum of 27 years, minus the 479 days he spent on remand in the 1990s.

"I have no doubt your pre-meditated and planned intention that night... was to kill and sexually mutilate an escort to satisfy your perverted and sadistic sexual desires."

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Smith has finally been caged for Ms Crump's murder
Smith has finally been caged for Ms Crump's murder. Picture: Alamy

Ms Crump's mother Pat Rhodes said after the conviction: "I truly believe Smith to be guilty of the murder of my daughter Sarah. I said at the trial that he would kill again."

The lorry driver - known to his colleagues as "Honey Monster" or "Lurch" due to his 6ft 3in heavy build - was free to murder another sex worker, 21-year-old Amanda Walker, in 1999.

He was given a life sentence and has served 24 years of that.

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Both women were sexually mutilated by depraved Smith, and Walker was discovered in a shallow grave near the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Wisley in Surrey.

The area was known as a popular spot for couples to have sex.

While on remand for killing Ms Walker, Smith told another inmate he thought he had "got away with" killing Ms Crump.

The judge told him he had a "history of escalating sexual violence against women".

Ms Crump was murdered by the lorry driver
Ms Crump was murdered by the lorry driver. Picture: Alamy

Smith, who at the time of lived with his parents in Hampton, had raped a young mother at knifepoint in 1976 and falsely imprisoned a woman in a car about a decade alter.

The Met did not drop the Crump case, and was praised by prosecutor William Boyce KC for persisting with it.

Evidence included the similarity between the murders, a cell confession and fingerprints found in Ms Crump's flat that were finally linked to the past owner.

The case was brought to the Court of Appeal for a new trial after the law over double jeopardy was changed in 2003.

Read more: Boy, 11, critical after being hit by police van on emergency call in Lancaster

Smith was acquitted of murder in 1993
Smith was acquitted of murder in 1993. Picture: Alamy

Smith, who would regularly play cards with Harold Shipman while the two were jailed at Wakefield, was sentenced on Friday.

Ms Crump's eldest sister, Ms Platt, said she was speaking on behalf of the family, including her parents who have died.

"I can't adequately express the pain of knowing what my sister endured," she said.

"My family and I will never come to terms with the brutal savagery of Sarah's murder.

"Even after 32 years, having to listen to the details of the attack on Sarah was excruciating.

"This was always so very important to pursue, to finally see justice for Sarah."

She believed she had worked as an escort because she wanted to fund fertility treatment because she wanted to be a mother.

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