Sams confesses to Julie Dart killing

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL SAMS, the kidnapper of Stephanie Slater, yesterday admitted abducting and killing Julie Dart, a Leeds teenager, in July 1991. He dropped his defence that 'a friend' had been responsible, writes Terry Kirby.

Sams, 51, of Sutton-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, was sentenced to life last Thursday after being found guilty of kidnap and murder over the killing of Miss Dart, 18, a part-time prostitute. He was also sentenced to 10 years for attempting to extort money from British Rail.

Throughout the 22-day trial, which included three days in the witness box, Sams claimed an unnamed friend used his plan to commit the crimes. He admitted kidnapping and imprisoning Miss Slater, 26, a Birmingham estate agent, in January last year, for which he also received life.

Yesterday the police said Sams, who is in Full Sutton prison, near York, asked to see Detective Superintendent Bob Taylor, who headed the Dart murder inquiry, and admitted sole responsibility for the Dart and BR offences.

He said he killed Miss Dart in his Newark workshop at 6pm on 10 July 1991 after abducting her in Leeds the previous evening; her body was found in a field in Lincolnshire a few days later. He is also said to have claimed he did not keep Miss Dart in a box, as he did Miss Slater.

Police said Sams confessed because he wanted Miss Dart's mother, Lynn Dart, to know when her daughter died. After seeing Sams, Mr Taylor spoke to members of Miss Dart's family.