A double murderer who sexually abused more than 100 female corpses will never be released from prison. Fuller had initially admitted the hospital attacks and denied murder – but he pleaded guilty to the two murders on the sixth day of the trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
The 67-year-old hid his crimes for more than three decades until advanced DNA techniques identified him as the killer of two young women in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1987.
Only then, after his arrest a year ago, did detectives discover the true horror of his other sex offences.
David Fuller, 67, killed Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in two separate attacks in Tunbridge Wells in 1987.
He also abused corpses, including children, in two Kent morgues over 12 years while working as a hospital electrician.
Families of the victims told Maidstone Crown Court that he was “an animal”, and “despicable, sick and twisted”.
Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb told Fuller during sentencing:
“There is so much sorrow in this community because of what you have done.
“Your actions go against everything that is right and humane. They are incomprehensible.
“You had no regard for the dignity of the dead.”
Fuller was handed two whole life sentences for the murders with a concurrent 12-year term for his other crimes.
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In a victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Knell’s mother Pamela described her as a “thoughtful person who would do anything for anyone”.
She wanted children, but did not get to have any, and Mrs Knell said: “We’ve had to live with her loss with no other comfort for the rest of our lives.
“Since it happened I’ve never had a good night’s sleep.”
“Even now it still worries me to go out on my own, and if a man comes near my I freeze.”
In a statement read to the court by a prosecutor, Katrina Frost, mother of Caroline Pierce, said her murder had been a “truly horrific part of my life which became a nightmare which lasted 34 years and continues to this day”.
Fuller was an “an animal” who “returned to a normal life with his family” after the murder, while for them life was “never the same” again.
“I can never forget having to identify the badly damaged body of my own daughter. The images of seeing my daughter in that way repeat over and over in my mind.
“She must have been absolutely terrified.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced an independent inquiry in the wake of the case, to understand how Fuller was able to operate undetected by the hospital trust, and to look at the “national implications” of his offences.
Investigators said the case came together following recent advances in DNA testing – and a huge police operation costing £2.5m – which linked Fuller to the double killings, dubbed “the Bedsit Murders”.
Following his arrest for the murders in 2020, officers carrying out a search of his house in Heathfield, East Sussex, found footage Fuller had recorded of himself abusing corpses in the morgues.
Folders, some labelled with the names of the victims, contained images and videos of him molesting female bodies, including three children, between 2008 and November 2020.
Fuller worked in electrical maintenance at hospitals since 1989, and was at the Kent and Sussex Hospital until it closed in September 2011.
He was transferred to the Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, where the offences continued until his arrest.
Investigators said Fuller would work late shifts and go into the morgue when other staff had left, often “visiting the same bodies repeatedly”.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said: “David Fuller systematically and repeatedly sexually abused the bodies of dead women and girls.
“It is estimated over the course of his offending he abused at least 102 women.”
He said they included a nine-year-old girl, two 16-year-olds and a woman aged 100.