Life for 'the vultures' who murdered Daniel

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The Independent Online
A judge yesterday recommended that two paedophiles who abducted, abused and then murdered nine-year-old Daniel Handley should spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Jailing both men, Mr Justice Curtis described Timothy Morss, 33, and Brett Tyler, 30, as "evil vultures" who had shown no remorse for their crime and who posed a grave danger to the public. "No society can tolerate men abducting a child of that society in a street in broad daylight or such inhuman conduct," the judge said. "Life must mean life."

Earlier an Old Bailey jury had taken under two hours to find Tyler guilty of murdering Daniel on 2 October 1994. He had admitted kidnapping the boy from the street and abusing him. His former lover, Morss, had admitted all three offences.

Detectives said afterwards they had feared both men - who had criminal records for sexually abusing children - could have struck again. Morss had told his friend he was dissatisfied with Daniel and "wanted another".

Commenting on the case, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children called for paedophiles to be monitored on a national register to ensure that they cannot return to sexually abusing youngsters when let out of jail. "We need to know where they are living and we do need to make sure they are not given jobs where they have access to children," said the NSPCC chief executive, Jim Harding.

The Government has said it is considering plans to set up a register of convicted child sex offenders - and require them to inform police each time they move areas.

Neither man showed any emotion as the judge told them that their medical evidence should be kept forever so that "no one is ever likely to know when, if ever, you are safe to go back on our streets."

Both Tyler and Morss were also jailed for life for each of two other offences they admitted - the false imprisonment of Daniel and buggering him.

The harrowing nature of the case meant that the eight-man, four-woman jury was offered counselling afterwards, as were police officers involved.

The court was told that the men kidnapped Daniel from a street in Beckton, east London, to fulfil a long-standing sexual fantasy. They took him back to Morss's flat in Camberwell.

The two men videoed each other having sex with the boy and then drove him down the M4 before stopping at junction 14. Daniel's last words were "Are you going to kill me now?" He was strangled with a rope.

The jury agreed with the prosecution that Tyler's defence that he had not physically strangled the boy was irrelevant. He so intimately involved in the affair he was guilty of murder.

Daniel was buried in a shallow grave near the home of Morss's boyfriend David Guttridge, of Bradley Stoke, Bristol, who was not involved in the murder but was yesterday jailed for 30 months for later helping him flee to the Philippines.

Daniel's mother, Maxine, left the court too upset to speak about the verdicts.

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