Families of David Fuller's victims hit out at necrophilia sentence

Relatives of victims defiled by morgue monster David Fuller say ‘it doesn’t feel like justice’ as he is jailed for rest of his life… while dozens of families’ wait for answers goes on

  • David Fuller admitted 1987 murders of Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20
  • Fuller filmed himself committing sexual acts on corpses at hospitals, where he worked as electrician as he abused at least 102 victims aged from nine to 100 
  • Police uncovered 14 million indecent images of Fuller sexually abusing bodies
  • His victim’s families are demanding an overhaul to necrophilia laws amid inquiry 

Barely six weeks have passed since Edward was informed that his 100-year-old mother had become David Fuller’s oldest victim; she was one of at least 100 women and girls the electrician raped or sexually abused while they lay unattended in a hospital morgue.

Every night since being told the horrifying, incomprehensible news, her 72-year-old son has spoken to her in his prayers.

‘I say to her, “We’re going to get justice for you and all the others, Mum”,’ he said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail.

Edward, whose name we have changed to protect his late mother’s identity, is one of several devastated relatives whose loved ones Fuller defiled that have spoken to the Mail this week.

‘She was lying there, unable to defend herself. It’s impossible to take in that something so evil could have happened to her.’

But what form should justice take for the families of the dead women who evil Fuller degraded? 

For yesterday, while the 67-year-old was handed a whole life sentence for the 1987 murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce, the punishment he was given for raping and sexually abusing at least 100 dead women and girls was just 12 years.

While  67-year-old David Fuller (pictured) was handed a whole life sentence for the 1987 murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce, the punishment he was given for raping and sexually abusing at least 100 dead women and girls was just 12 years

Amanda Miah (above), whose mother Sonia was abused by Fuller after she died aged 54, in 2018, told ITV’s Meridian News: ‘I have the picture of my mum behind the glass and I thought she was safe. And she was just violated.’

Their outraged relatives know that while he will spend the rest of his life behind bars, it is not because he is being punished for the horror he inflicted on their loved ones.

‘You raped my baby,’ said one mother yesterday, as she addressed the killer during a victim impact statement at Maidstone Crown Court. 

‘She couldn’t say no to the dirty 66-year-old man who was abusing her body. I feel guilty I left her there.’

The extent of Fuller’s wicked depravity was laid bare as she recalled her daily visits to her nine-year-old daughter after she tragically died of natural causes.

She brushed her hair and dressed her and surrounded her with toys as well as a loving letter.

Fuller, who stole into the post-mortem room after the mother had left, saw all these precious, deeply personal items, while he filmed his despicable acts of sexual violence against her daughter.

‘David, you know who I am because you read the letter I wrote to my baby,’ she said. ‘I will not enjoy my life again. Her death was unfair and heartbreaking but it was a natural thing that I was starting to come to terms with. This unnatural sick pain I will never get over.’

She was among the traumatised, grief-stricken families who addressed the court yesterday.

As well as demanding an overhaul in the law – the maximum sentence for necrophilia in the UK is just two years – his victims’ families now fear that a promised government inquiry will also be a whitewash. 

Many of them had pinned their hopes for justice on a full statutory public inquiry to uncover the truth about the worst cast of necrophilia in legal history and were told that they would be closely involved.

But more than a month after Health Secretary Sajid Javid gave assurances in Parliament that they would be consulted, they have still not been contacted.

While the inquiry will be held in public, its non-statutory status means families have no automatic rights of involvement, including the right to legal representation. 


A DNA breakthrough last year finally cracked one of Britain’s longest unsolved murder cases, identifying Fuller as the killer of Wendy Knell, (right) 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, who were beaten, strangled and then sexually assaulted in 1987 in Tunbridge Wells

While searching Fuller’s home in Heathfield, East Sussex, police found hard drives containing ‘a library of unimaginable sexual depravity’. There were 14 million indecent images, including videos of him abusing corpses at mortuaries at the now-closed Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells

Legal aid is not available to them and requests for financial assistance from the Department of Health have also been ignored. Yet Fuller received £46,000 in legal aid for his case.

Further concerns have been raised over the appointment of a former NHS boss to lead the inquiry into how Fuller managed to gain regular access to secure, locked hospital mortuaries over a 12-year period. 

‘This doesn’t feel like justice,’ said Edward. ‘We are victims here too but we weren’t able to have our day in court.’

His mother, who was born in 1910 and was just shy of her 101st birthday when she died, survived one of the worst bombings of the Blitz.

Yet now what endures is the horror enacted upon her lifeless corpse at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Kent just days before her funeral in 2011. ‘Hearing what he had done was like a knife to my heart,’ said Edward.

David Fuller’s hospital pass card used to access the mortuaries where he carried out his abuse on around 100 dead bodies

A DNA breakthrough last year finally cracked one of Britain’s longest unsolved murder cases, identifying Fuller as the killer of Miss Knell, 25, and Miss Pierce, 20, who were beaten, strangled and then sexually assaulted in 1987 in Tunbridge Wells.

The killings were known as the Bedsit Murders. While searching his home in Heathfield, East Sussex, police found hard drives containing ‘a library of unimaginable sexual depravity’.

There were 14 million indecent images, including videos of him abusing corpses at mortuaries at the now-closed Kent and Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells, where he worked from 1989, and its replacement Tunbridge Wells Hospital, where he moved in 2010.

Amanda Miah, whose mother Sonia was abused by Fuller after she died aged 54, in 2018, told ITV’s Meridian News: ‘I have the picture of my mum behind the glass and I thought she was safe. And she was just violated.’

Talking exclusively to the Mail, Sarah, who discovered eight weeks ago that her mother had also been one of Fuller’s victims, shares Edward’s frustrations.

‘A public inquiry was our way of trying to get some justice,’ said Sarah. ‘To know now that it’s not necessarily going to be as transparent as a full public inquiry, I’m mad about that. And I want to see a change in the law on sentencing for this terrible crime.

‘We have heard so much about violent offences against women. Whether we are alive or dead, the offences should be the same.’

She is filled with ‘violent anger’ towards Fuller, who raped her mother on the very day that she died, suddenly, of natural causes.

Sarah knows that Fuller abused her mother for 24 minutes in the post-mortem room at Tunbridge Wells Hospital. 

Sarah is still haunted by the memory of what she said to other family members after her mother’s lifeless body was taken there by paramedics who had tried to save her life.

‘I said, “She’ll be safe now. They’ll look after her”,’ she said. ‘In the midst of the shock and horror of losing her out of the blue, I consoled myself with the thought that she was in safe hands. 

More than a month after Health Secretary Sajid Javid gave assurances in Parliament that they would be consulted, they have still not been contacted

‘But while I was sitting with my family, grieving, he was doing that to her. She’d hardly taken her last breath.’

Another distraught relative told the Mail that Fuller had ‘stolen everything, all my memories from me. I’ve got nothing left to give.’ 

But he said that because no one from the inquiry had been in touch, ‘I feel as though the whole inquiry is going to be a whitewash’.

In a statement yesterday, Mr Javid insisted: ‘We have made good progress in establishing the independent inquiry’. 

He said its chairman, Sir Jonathan Michael, ‘has developed draft terms of reference and will engage with families on them in the new year before they are published’. 

He said nothing about the issue of legal representation and aid.

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