David Fuller: Man accused of double murder ‘sexually abused dead bodies in mortuaries’, court told

Electrician is standing trial at Maidstone Crown Court accused of 1987 murders of Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, in Tunbridge Wells

Chiara Giordano
Monday 01 November 2021 14:25
<p>David Fuller is on trial accused of the 1987 murders of Caroline Pierce (pictured), 20, and Wendy Knell, 25, in Kent</p>

David Fuller is on trial accused of the 1987 murders of Caroline Pierce (pictured), 20, and Wendy Knell, 25, in Kent

A man accused of murdering two women more than 30 years ago sexually assaulted dead bodies in hospital mortuaries, a court has heard.

David Fuller, 67, is accused of murdering Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, in two separate attacks in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1987.

Both women were found to have suffered blunt force trauma to the head, asphyxiation to the neck, and sexual assault after their deaths, Maidstone Crown Court heard on Monday.

Fuller admits to killing the two women but has denied murder on grounds of diminished responsibility.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson said evidence found during a search of the electrician’s home showed he had taken images of women’s dead bodies in the mortuaries of Kent and Sussex Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital while working there.

He said Fuller used the access his job gave him to “carry out acts of sexual penetration of female corpses”, the BBC reports.

It shows Fuller had a “particular interest” in the sexual assault of dead women, Mr Atkinson told the court.

Ms Knell was found dead in her apartment in Guildford Road on 23 June 1987.

Ms Pierce was killed five months later outside her home in Grosvenor Park on 24 November of the same year.

Wendy Knell, 25, was found dead in her flat in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in June 1987

Neighbours described hearing screams from Ms Pierce’s flat on the night in question, the court heard.

She was then reported missing, and there was no sign of her in her flat.

Her naked body was later discovered in a water-filled dyke at St Mary-in-the-Marsh on 15 December 1987.

DNA evidence from both women’s bodies linked Fuller to their killing.

There were reports of “prowler activity” in the lead up to both women’s deaths, with local women reporting a voyeur looking through their windows.

Fuller initially denied he had killed the women when he was first arrested, the court heard, but changed his plea to one of diminished responsibility after learning of the DNA evidence.

“His account has now changed,” said Mr Atkinson. “He now asserts he was suffering from an abnormality of mind.

“If that is right then the defendant is guilty of manslaughter not murder.”

Mr Atkinson QC said the prosecution’s case was that Fuller killed and sexually assaulted the women to satisfy his desire.

“His desire for sexual gratification through the observation and identification of vulnerable women, gaining control of them, and then indulging his depraved sexual predilections in relation to them, all provides the explanation in relation to their murder,” he said.

“It follows that he is responsible for the killing of these young women and then sexually assaulting their bodies after their deaths.”

He added that there was no evidence of Fuller suffering from mental health problems until 2010, when Fuller complained of feeling depressed over pain in his legs.

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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