Electrician admits murdering two women and sexually assaulting '99 corpses'

4 November 2021, 17:19

Double murderer David Fuller sexually assaulted at least 99 women and girls in hospital mortuaries
Double murderer David Fuller sexually assaulted at least 99 women and girls in hospital mortuaries. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A hospital electrician has admitted to sexually assaulting at least 99 female corpses and murdering two women in 1987.

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David Fuller changed his plea to guilty on the fourth day of his murder trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

Fuller's targeted the bodies of a nine-year-old girl and a 100-year-old woman, who he abused between 2008 and November 2020 in two Kent hospital morgues.

The shocking crimes were only discovered after Fuller was arrested for the 1987 "bedsit murders" of Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, in December last year following a DNA breakthrough.

The 67-year-old filmed himself carrying out the attacks at mortuaries, and investigators have so far detected 99 potential victims, of which they know the names of 78.

It can now be reported that ahead of his double murder trial, Fuller pleaded guilty to 51 other offences, including 44 charges relating to the 78 identified victims in mortuaries.

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They include the sexual penetration of a corpse, possessing an extreme pornographic image involving sexual interference with a corpse and taking indecent images of children.

Senior Crown Prosecution Service Crown Prosecutor Libby Clark described the type and scale of his crimes as "unprecedented," adding: "I have never come across anything like it - the numbers, the nature of offending - and I don't know anybody who has, be they police or other prosecutors.

"They are just crimes which actually defy belief, defy your belief in how people behave, such continued offending against women and girls and a lack of respect.

"He's moved on from killing to commit offences to actually committing offences against dead people."

Fuller's crimes were discovered when officers searched his three-bedroom semi-detached home in the town of Heathfield, East Sussex, where he lived with his family, after he was arrested for the murders of Ms Knell and Ms Pierce in the early hours of December 3 2020.

The box room acted as his home office, which was monitored by a CCTV system and had access to the loft through a hatch.

Inside an office wardrobe, police found a handmade box screwed to the back of a cabinet, with four hard drives hidden inside, containing pictures and videos of Fuller sexually assaulting dead women and girls.

The evidence found dates back to 2008 but police believe that could be because that was when digital camera devices were becoming more widespread, so the true scale of his offending may never be known.

More than 3,500 exhibits were seized from "hoarder" Fuller's office and loft, including computers going back to the late 1970s, mobile phones as old as 20 years and handwritten diaries.

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There were more than 100 hard drives, 2,200 floppy discs, 30 sim cards and mobile phones, 1,300 CDs and DVDs, 34,000 photo prints, negatives, slides and camera rolls, and 3,500 digital storage devices.

A dedicated team of 100 officers and staff was created to investigate and officers took five months to sift through the material. In all, there were 14 million images.

A victim support package costing £1.5m has been created which has drafted in 150 police family liaison officers to support the families of the identified victims.

Kent Police Chief Superintendent Paul Fotheringham said: "Whilst we are going to be able to identify the vast majority to a very high standard to be able to tell the families, there are some we are not going to be able to ever identify."

Crown Prosecutor Ms Clark said the victims' families were in "utter disbelief" when they were told what Fuller had done.

"Some of the victims will have been dead for a good many years but others will not have been, and families are just getting used to it, going through that cycle of grief and now receiving devastating news of this man's conduct towards their loved ones when they were dead."

She said Fuller is "clearly a danger to women," adding: "The offending is incomprehensible, it's so off the scale and not what you think people in hospital are going to be doing.

"It's just incomprehensible the scale and depravity of what he's done."