West's house sold for £57,000

The house where Fred and Rose West started their killing spree was sold at auction yesterday for more than £57,000 - well above its guide price.

Peter Radley, a property investor, bid fiercely with two other interested buyers for the semi-detached house in Gloucester. The property, 25 Midland Road, was where eight-year-old Charmaine West was murdered and buried.

The body of Charmaine, the daughter of Fred and his first wife Catherine Costello, was discovered in 1994. Her remains were found under the kitchen window and small pieces of coal were found with the body, showing she had been kept in the cellar before she was buried in the spring of 1971.

The house, which had been leased by its current owners for four years, went under the hammer at the Hilton Hotel in Bristol. Buyers were recommended to bid between £40,000 and £50,000 but the house - which has three self-contained flats - fetched £57,750. Mr Radley, of Westbury-onSevern, said he would continue to rent out the flats, two of which are currently occupied.

He added: "It is a sound investment and the history did not put me off. It made me think it might go cheaper but as it turned out I reached my limit. It has a history but it is entitled to ... a future and we will give it a better future. I have been to see it twice and there was nothing eerie about it."