Thursday, December 2, 2021

NHS worker admits sexually abusing 100 bodies

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Health Minister Sajid Javid ordered an investigation after a hospital worker admitted murdering two women and sexually abusing nearly 100 bodies in NHS morgues.

David Fuller, 67, took photos and recorded sexually abusing the bodies of patients over a period of 12 years at Kent and Sussex Hospital and later at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Kent.

Investigators have identified 78 out of 99 of his victims.

Fuller pleaded guilty in Maidstone Crown Court Thursday to the murder of Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, in two separate attacks in 1987 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Describing Mr. Fuller’s actions as “horrific”, Mr Javid said an independent investigation, led by Sir Jonathan Michael, a former doctor and hospital director, was going to investigate what happened.

The Minister of Health said hospitals have been instructed to upgrade their morgue and the Human Tissue Authority will consider whether changes are needed to the existing funeral service rules.

He added, “My thoughts go with the family and friends of those who were victims of these horrific acts, as well as everyone who works in the NHS Trust and the broader health service, who, like me, will be profoundly shaken by the unspeakable nature of these crimes.”

“We in the government work closely with the local police force and trust that the families affected will receive the full support they need right now.”

Fuller, now 67, was able to gain entry to the morgue through his role as an electrician for the NHS.

He changed his plea on Thursday, four days after his trial began, in which he learned he had sexually abused the two women after he killed them.

He had admitted killing the women, but originally pleaded not guilty to the murder of reduced responsibility.

Prior to his trial, Fuller pleaded guilty to 51 other crimes, including 44 charges against 78 identified victims in morgues where he worked as an electrician.

The victims included three children under the age of 18 and others over the age of 85 between 2008 and November 2020.

Fuller filmed himself during the mortuary attacks at the now-closed Kent and Sussex Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury, where he had worked in electrical maintenance since 1989.

The CPS said police searches of Fuller’s Sussex home to gather evidence for the murder investigation uncovered four million images of sexual abuse.

While most of these were downloaded from the Internet, they revealed that Fuller had also abused corpses in the course of his employment in the hospitals.

After evading justice for 33 years, he was arrested for murder on December 3 last year after a fresh analysis of decades of DNA evidence linking him to the killings found a new analysis.

Ms. Knell was found dead on June 23, 1987 in her apartment on Guildford Road.

Her body showed signs of blunt violent trauma to the head, suffocation to the neck and sexual assault after her death after her death, the court heard.

Samples Fuller left on Ms. Knell’s bedspread made Fuller a billion times more likely to be the killer, the CPS said.

Ms. Pierce was killed in front of her home in Grosvenor Park five months later on November 24 of the same year.

Neighbors described hearing screams from Ms. Pierce’s apartment on the night in question before she was reported missing and was nowhere to be seen in her apartment.

Her naked body was later discovered on December 15, 1987 in a water-filled levee at St. Mary-in-the-Marsh.

Cells on Ms. Pierce’s tights made Fuller 160,000 times closer to her killer than any other person.

Fuller also retained evidence of visiting the Buster Browns restaurant where Ms. Pierce worked and photos in SupaSnaps sleeves – the company Ms. Knell was employed when she was killed.

There were reports of “prowler activity” leading up to the two women’s deaths, with local residents reporting a voyeur looking through their windows.

In his home, pictures of dead women were found in the hospital’s two morgues who were abused by Fuller, where officials also discovered four hard drives with a total of five terabytes of data storage attached to the back of a cabinet.

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