MPs call for public inquiry into David Fuller’s sexual abuse of NHS hospital corpses

MPs have called for a public inquiry into how hospital electrician David Fuller was able to sexually abuse victims in NHS mortuaries for more than a decade.

The 67-year-old committed sex attacks on nearly 100 corpses in two hospitals in Kent, taking images and videos of the abuse.

An independent view at the trust where he worked is underway.

But the MP for Tunbridge Wells – where Fuller murdered two women and carried out much of the mortuary abuse – said there also needs to be a wider inquiry.

Greg Clark said as well as “local” questions about how the abuse was allowed to take place, there are “national ones as to whether national policy was good enough” and whether similar abuse could have happened in other hospitals.

“The scale of the inquiry, when you have over 100 victims, and very important evidence that needs to be taken from them and others, the local NHS trust doesn’t have the resources and the administration to mount such an inquiry,” the Tory MP said.

Mr Clark said “the very least” that can be done for the families of the victims is to “make sure it never happens again and that other families don’t need to go through what they went through”.

He said colleagues were also calling for a public inquiry, including Tom Tugendhat, Nus Ghani, Tracey Crouch and Helen Grant.

The Centre for Women’s Justice (CWJ), which has been supporting a mother whose daughter’s body was violated by Fuller at a mortuary, has also joined calls for a public inquiry.

“A proper inquiry must now take place to explore how Fuller was able to continue perpetrating these appalling acts over such a long period of time,” a spokesperson for the charity said.

No10 did not rule the possibility of a public inquiry on Friday. But Boris Johnson’s spokesperson added: “We need to let the investigations that are already under way take place.”

Fuller, who gained access to mortuaries through his work as an electrician for the NHS, abused corpses at over a 12-year period at the Kent and Sussex Hospital and later the Tunbridge Wells hospital in Kent.

He pleaded guilty on Thursday to the murder of two women, 25-year-old Wendy Knell and 20-year-old Caroline Pierce, in separate attacks in Tunbridge Wells in the 1980s.

Ahead of his trial, Fuller pleaded guilty to 51 other offences, including 44 charges relating to 78 identified victims in mortuaries.

Detectives have identified 78 out of 99 of his victims. Among these are three children under the age of 18 and over-85s.

The abuse in mortuaries took place between 2008 and November last year.

Sajid Javid, the health secretary, said hospitals have been told to improve their mortuary security in light of the abuse.

“My thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims of these horrific acts, as well as all those working in the NHS Trust and wider health service who, like me, will be profoundly shaken by the unspeakable nature of these offences,” he added.


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