Couple's killer gets two life sentences: Security video and tape of phone call trapped insurance man
Thursday 24 March 1994
Stephen Young, a father of two, shook his head as the jury returned guilty verdicts at the end of a three-and-a-half week trial at Hove Crown Court, East Sussex. The decision was greeted with cheers from the public gallery, where Mr Fuller's family had sat throughout the trial.
The court had been told how Young, 35, a gun enthusiast, shot the couple at their home in Wadhurst, East Sussex, in February last year as part of a plan to rob Mr Fuller to get cash to offset huge businesss and personal debts.
Mr Fuller, 45, who was known to boast about and exaggerate his wealth, was shot through the back and died immediately as the bullet pierced his heart. His wife of six months died after being shot four times as she tried to flee her killer. Young fired the last bullet through the back of her head after she had crawled to her bedroom and dialled 999 in a futile attempt to call help.
A tape of the call, which was recorded by British Telecom, was played during the trial. Jurors heard Mrs Fuller's last 'squeals' for help before the final shot was fired. Young, of Heskett Park, Pembury, Kent, then tried to make the killings look like a drug-related crime by scattering fine powdered sugar over Mr Fuller's body.
He would probably have escaped detection but for two details he was unable to foresee. One was a tape-recording of a conversation he had with Mr Fuller on the night before the killings in which they had agreed to meet at the cottage the next morning. The tape was played on the Crimewatch television programme, and Young's voice was recognised.
He was also unaware that a bank's security system had filmed his car entering and leaving Wadhurst, with an hour's interval in between.
Young, who denied both murders, claimed in court that he found Mr Fuller dead when he called at the cottage. As he left the house he saw a mystery face at an upstairs window, he said. Later, he claimed, he had received threatening phone calls, which persuaded him not to tell police what he saw.
After the verdict Tom Fuller, 40, one of Harry Fuller's brothers, said of Young thought his brother 'was easy prey for a lot of money. This verdict is a great weight off our shoulders'.
Nicola Fuller's father, Michael Johnson, said: 'The verdict doesn't change things for us at all. We can't bring Nicky back but it does take one evil person off the streets.'
Detective Chief Superintendent Graham Hill, who led the inquiry, said: 'Outwardly Stephen Young was a very responsible family man who was well- liked by his clients and people in Pembury. There was a totally different side to him and it is that other side that very few people knew about.
'These were cold, callous and calculated murders and all the evidence is that they were pre-planned.'
Peaches Geldof funeral: Bob Geldof leads tributes at emotional service in same church she married husband Thomas Cohen and mother Paula Yates was buried
Pope Francis ‘told divorced and remarried woman there is nothing wrong with her taking Communion’, Italian newspaper says
Man gives barefoot bus passenger the shoes off his feet
50-year mystery of the ocean ‘quack’ finally solved by scientists
Justin Bieber apologises for visiting Yasukuni Shrine in Japan: Site at centre of international row honours convicted WWII war criminals
Ukip election posters: Nigel Farage defends 'racist' campaign anti-immigration campaign ahead of Europe elections
Ukip leader Nigel Farage defends employing German wife, at launch of anti-immigration poster campaign
Is Britain really a land of God? Furious debate after David Cameron claims we are a Christian country
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Nigel Farage: Calling Ukip’s posters ‘racist’ is yet another example of shameful Westminster evasion
David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 1 William Shakespeare's 450th birthday: 50 everyday phrases that came from the Bard
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Pope Francis ‘told divorced and remarried woman there is nothing wrong with her taking Communion’, Italian newspaper says
- 4 Man gives barefoot bus passenger the shoes off his feet
- 5 50-year mystery of the ocean ‘quack’ finally solved by scientists
Excellent Salary Package: Austen Lloyd: This is a rare high level opportunity ...
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: This is an excellent opportunity within...
£80000 - £120000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: US QUALI...
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: Banking / Finance Associate - We have an exce...