Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

David Dearlove: Great Yarmouth man jailed for 1968 murder of his stepson

David Dearlove (71) from Great Yarmouth has been jailed for life for the murder of his 19-month-old stepson in the 1960s. Credit: ITV News

A man from Great Yarmouth has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 13 years for the murder of his 19-month-old stepson in the 1960s.

David Dearlove, 71, denied killing Paul Booth at the family home in Stockton in the North East back in 1968, but he was convicted at Teeside Crown Court on Friday.

Dearlove was seen attacking Paul by the little boy's brother Peter, who was aged just three at the time and had crept downstairs for a drink.

Peter told the court that he witnessed Dearlove swinging Paul by his ankles and smashing his head against a fireplace.

David Dearlove has been jailed for killing his stepson. Credit: PA

Peter Booth had told police what happened after piecing together childhood memories, but no action was taken.

That changed in 2015 when, incensed by seeing a black-and-white photo of Dearlove with Paul on his knee on Facebook, Mr Booth went to the police again with the allegation that his brother was murdered, and an investigation was launched.

Paul Booth pictured with the stepfather David Dearlove who was convicted of murdering the toddler 49 years after his death.

Dearlove, now a retired grandfather and married with two daughters, was arrested at his home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

A jury deliberated for three days before unanimously finding him guilty of murder and child cruelty offences against Paul, Peter and their sister, Stephanie.

Teesside Crown Court heard that Dearlove was 21 when he moved in with Carol Booth, a single mother, and her three young children.

Paul Booth was killed by his stepfather in 1968.

A month before Paul was killed in 1968, nursery staff were concerned about bruises on his body and the authorities investigated, with photos taken of the little boy.

Those black-and-white images of the intensely sad-looking toddler were used in court to convict Dearlove 49 years on.

At the time, the ICI worker claimed a motorbike had fallen on the youngster.

On 1 October 1968, Dearlove lashed out again, causing a fatal brain injury by bashing his head.

Paul died in hospital on the same night Peter witnessed him being attacked. He never regained consciousness after suffering a fractured skull and died within four hours.

An inquest held in 1968 returned an open verdict and Dearlove was not prosecuted.

David Dearlove (71) from Great Yarmouth has been jailed for life for the murder of his 19-month-old stepson in the 1960s. Credit: Scott Heppell/PA Wire/PA Images