Family wants Rachel's killer 'locked up for life'

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The Independent Online

The family of Rachel Nickell said today they hoped her killer Robert Napper will spend "the rest of his life" locked up for the brutal crime.

Napper, 42, admitted to the manslaughter of the 23-year-old model at the Old Bailey this morning on the grounds of diminished responsibility.



After Justice Griffith Williams detained Napper indefinitely at Broadmoor Hospital, Miss Nickell's father Andrew addressed a press conference on the steps of the Old Bailey.



Mr Nickell said: "We sincerely hope that, whatever the court says, that he will spend the rest of his life in a totally secure environment to protect all other people."





Mr Nickell, from Bedfordshire, said: "Mr Napper has been found guilty of Rachel's murder, that means in total he has murdered two women, one child, raped at least one woman and attempted to rape two others.



"We sincerely hope that whatever the court says, that he will spend the rest of his life in a totally secure environment to protect all other people.



"A long time ago we came to terms with Rachel's death. Our lives have changed forever but we've learnt to accommodate the changes.



"We now hope to draw a line and move forward into the new year."







Mr Nickell, 68, and his wife Monica, 64, continued to believe for many years that former suspect Colin Stagg was their daughter's killer and even once considered taking civil action against him.



Outside court, Mr Nickell continued: "It's easy with the benefit of hindsight to say mistakes were made.



"But we never felt at any time that the officers and staff involved in the investigation gave less than their very best. We would be pleased to call many of them our friends.



"We are also most grateful for the brilliant work of the Forensic Science Alliance in developing a way to detect the vital DNA which trapped Mr Napper.



"We would like to thank the press and media for their efforts to ensure the investigation was not forgotten, but also to ask them to understand this is the last time Monica and I will ever give an interview with any section of the media.



"Please leave us alone to grieve and regain our anonymity.



"I would also like to ask the media for their compassion. During the last 16 and a half years, many photos and videos have been given to them to help with their stories.



"Every time they appear, to Rachel's friends and relations they are like a kick in the stomach.



"Please, after reporting the trial please do not use them anymore. Give her some peace.



"Last and not least we would like to thank all friends, relations and neighbours at home and abroad, and thousands of individuals who wrote to us, for their constant support and love.



"Without them the journey would have been much harder."