Hospital worker accused of killing two women abused female corpses in morgue

A "depraved" killer accused of sexually assaulting and murdering two women abused and photographed the bodies of other women as they lay in a morgue in Kent, 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 in 1987.

Ms Knell's body was found dead in her apartment in Guildford Road, showing signs of blunt force trauma to the head, asphyxiation to the neck, and sexual assault after her death, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Five months later Ms Pierce was abducted outside her home in Grosvenor Park as neighbours reportedly described hearing screams on the night of November 24.

She was then reported missing when 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 December 15.

Fuller initially denied that he had killed the women when he was first arrested but DNA evidence from both women's bodies link him to their killing, the court heard.

He has since pleaded not guilty on grounds of diminished responsibility on mental health grounds.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said that Fuller had sexually assaulted both women after they had died, as a search of the defendants home uncovered images of women's corpses in the mortuaries of Kent and Sussex Hospital and Tunbridge Wells hospital.

Fuller had worked as an electrician at the Kent and Sussex Hospital from 1989, before moving to the Tunbridge Wells Hospital in 2010, according to the BBC.

Mr Atkinson told the court Fuller used the access his job gave him to enter both hospital mortuaries and "carry out acts of sexual penetration of female corpses".

He said that evidence found during a search of Fuller's home showed that he had taken images of women's corpses in the mortuaries of Kent and Sussex hospital and Tunbridge Wells hospital.

It showed that Fuller had a "particular interest" in the sexual assault of dead women.

Fuller initially denied that he had killed the women when he was first arrested, the court heard.

However, the court heard that after learning of the DNA evidence he has since changed his plea to that of one of diminished responsibility.

"His account has now changed," said Mr Atkinson.

Mr Atkinson said: "His account has now changed. 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 said that the prosecution's case is that Fuller killed and sexually assaulted the women to satisfy his desire as Fuller allegedly shows "particular interest" in the sexual assault of dead women.

The prosecution added: "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 provide the explanation in relation to their murder.

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

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