Hospital predator faces more charges as further victims are being identified

Olympian Louis Smith
LEGAL ACTION: Families launch bid to extend the powers of the inquiry into Fuller’s crimes

A national newspaper has reported how officers at Kent Police are confident they have enough evidence to charge the 67 year old with yet more crimes.

Fuller, a former hospital electrician, is currently serving a whole life sentence for the 1987 murders of Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, but he was also convicted of abusing bodies at hospital mortuaries in the town.

He pleaded guilty to 51 offences, including 44 charges relating to 78 identified victims.

But police have always suspected there were more victims yet to be identified.

Kent Police received hundreds of calls after setting up an appeal line to hear from families of people that Fuller may have attacked over the 12 years of his offending at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and its forerunner the Kent and Sussex Hospital.

On February 8 The Sun newspaper suggested charges were set to be laid, but the Times understands that while the force has evidence of more crimes against further victims, charges are unlikely to be put to Fuller until next month.

The news comes as a daughter of a woman whose body was abused by Fuller, a father of four, has applied for a judicial review into the inquiry into his crimes.

Following his conviction last year, an independent inquiry was called to be headed by Sir Jonathan Michael, the former chief executive to a number of NHS hospitals.

Sir Jonathan announced in January his inquiry into Fuller, of Heathfield, East Sussex, will be split in to two parts.

The first stage will focus on Fuller’s crimes the hospitals, while the second will examine the implications for the country as a whole.

But Amanda Miah, whose late mother was one of Fuller’s victims, has applied for a judicial review, backed by other victims’ families, to extend the powers of the review, which her lawyers say is ‘not fit for purpose’.

Representatives of Ms Miah and the families of 36 victims say the current inquiry’s non-statutory status means it will not be able to legally compel witnesses to give evidence.

They have also questioned the independence of inquiry chair

Sonia Miah died aged 54 after experiencing breathing difficulties in 2018. Her daughter told reporters last week: “I just want to make sure that this can never happen again, that you know there’s security in place [so] that we can have more trust to leave our loved ones in these people’s care.”

Ben Davey, her lawyer, said she and many other families want a full statutory judge-led inquiry, with hearings held in public.

Mr Davey said: “The family say the inquiry is not fit for purpose. They say it does not have sufficient powers to be able to fully examine how David Fuller was able to commit these offences over such a long period of time.

“They also say the chair of the inquiry is not independent and therefore he will not be able to maintain the integrity of the inquiry by remaining in post.”

A spokesperson for the inquiry said non-statutory inquiries are ‘often quicker’ than statutory inquiries, enabling recommendations and changes to be made faster.

He added: “The inquiry is independent of the NHS and of the government. Sir Jonathan and his team are determined to be objective and thorough in their work.”

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