Convicted murderer killed again after release

Matthew Cooper
Saturday 22 July 2000 00:00
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A double killer who was freed after serving 15 years of a life sentence was found guilty yesterday of murdering a teenage prostitute after his release.

A double killer who was freed after serving 15 years of a life sentence was found guilty yesterday of murdering a teenage prostitute after his release.

Paul Brumfitt, 44, was jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court after being convicted of killing Marcella Ann Davis at his home in Woodsetton, near Dudley, in February last year.

Brumfitt, who was jailed at the Old Bailey in 1980 for beating to death a shopkeeper in Tilbury, Essex, and strangling a bus driver in Denmark, was also convicted yesterday of raping a second prostitute at knifepoint. Brumfitt was also placed on the sex offenders' register.

After the jury returned its verdicts, Colman Treacy QC, prosecuting, outlined Brumfitt's criminal history, which began in 1975. He embarked on a eight-day spree of terror in July 1979 after a row with his 16-year-old girlfriend.

When he was jailed at the Old Bailey in August 1980, Mr Justice Gibson said Brumfitt suffered from psychopathic disorders which had resulted in a "permanent disability of mind".

Brumfitt had pleaded guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility to the manslaughter of Sidney Samuel, a 59-year-old tailor from Tilbury, and Teddy Laustrup, 40, in Esbjerg, south-west Denmark. He was released in November 1994.

The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, Edward Crew, criticised the decision to free Brumfitt to "wander around the streets" and kill again.

He said: "If it were not for the tenacity and expertise of the senior investigating officer, Brumfitt would still be on the streets today, free to rape and murder. It seems inconceivable that a man who has previously been convicted for a litany of offences,... for which he received three life sentences, can still be allowed to wander around the streets."

The Prison Service said it was considering the effectiveness, efficiency and fairness of the procedures for the review, release and recall of life-sentence prisoners.

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