Ripper-style killer found guilty of Southall sex worker murder 30 years after being cleared of crime

David Smith has now been found guilty of murder Credit: PA

Ripper-style killer David Smith, 67, has been found guilty of murdering 33-year-old escort Sarah Crump 30 years after he was previously cleared of the crime.

Lorry driver, Smith killed and mutilated Ms Crump in West London in August 1991.

He later went on to commit an almost identical murder of another sex worker, Amanda Walker, 21, in 1999 after being acquitted of Ms Crump's murder.

Ms Crump was found dead in her Southall flat on August 29, 1991, and Ms Walker was found heavily mutilated in 1999.

He is already serving a life sentence for Ms Walker's murder after being convicted in 1999.

Sarah Crump was found dead in her Southall flat in August 1991 Credit: Metropolitan Police/PA

Ms Crump’s mother Pat Rhodes had warned at her daughter’s Old Bailey trial she believed Smith would kill again.

But he thanked the jury as he left court when he was cleared of Ms Crump’s 1991 murder after his defence counsel accused police of suppressing evidence and incompetence.

Police emphatically denied the defence allegation and said they were not looking for anyone else.

Smith was finally found guilty of murdering Ms Crump at her one-bedroom flat in Southall, west London, at Inner London Crown Court on Wednesday after Court of Appeal judges ordered a retrial.

He showed no emotion when he was found guilty after less than three hours of deliberation and Mr Justice Bryan said he would sentence him on Friday.

Ms Crump’s older sisters Joanne Platt and Suzanne Wright, who were in court for the verdict, said in a short statement: “At long last justice for our lovely Sarah.

“If only mum and dad were here with us today to share this momentous occasion.”

His latest trial heard that while on remand, awaiting trial for Ms Walker’s murder, Smith boasted to another inmate he had already faced trial for murder at the Old Bailey but had “walked”.

“He said that they got no evidence on him and that he got away with it,” the prisoner said.

Smith’s case was referred to the Court of Appeal and was sent for a fresh trial following a change in the law on double jeopardy in 2003.

He denied a single charge of murder but did not give evidence.

During the trial, the jury heard Smith had "fascinations and obsessions" about women and had previously admitted to the murder of another woman in 1999.

Jurors were also told Smith raped a young mother at knifepoint and tried to rape an escort just 10 days before Ms Crump’s murder, in “an escalating pattern of violent and sexual offending” stretching back to his teenage years in the 1970s.

Ms Crump, a secretary in the chiropody department in Wimbledon Hospital, south-west London, who had previously been a psychiatric nurse, was said to have had “two parts to her life”, also working from “time to time as an escort”.

The court heard how he began using sex workers with increasing "intensity' in the time leading up to Ms Crump's murder.

Jurors were also told Smith raped a young mother at knifepoint in 1976, and falsely imprisoned an unknown woman in a car around a decade later.

He lived at his parent's home in Hampton, Middlesex, and made deliveries across the surrounding area at the time.

He regularly used sex workers and had visited Ms Crump's flat to pay for sex using the name "Duncan".

“He was someone who developed fascinations and obsessions with some of the women he met in this way,” said Mr Boyce.

“The prosecution alleges that David Smith murdered Sarah Crump and he had visited her flat on August 28 to use her services as an escort girl.

“He used a false name, ‘Duncan’. He was the last person known to be inside Ms Crump’s flat before she was discovered to be dead.

“He was there as a paying visitor. For such a visitor, she would have taken off her clothes and lain on the bed where she was found.”

Queen was convicted following a trial at Inner London Crown Court. Credit: PA

The court heard Ms Crump’s naked body was found “brutally mutilated” with incisions similar to the surgical scars of a woman Smith had “become obsessed with” and “rejected his attentions”.

“The motivation was clearly, you may infer, sexual and violent,” said Mr Boyce.

He said the killing was part of a “wider spectrum” of offending, including the 1976 knifepoint rape of a young mother in her own home, the attempted rape of an escort on August 18, 1991, and the murder and mutilation of Ms Walker in 1999.

Mr Boyce said Ms Walker’s murder “bore a number of similarities”, including the “substantial mutilation to which the victim’s body had been subjected after death”.

“The murder of Ms Crump was one part in a timeline of escalating violent and sexual offending against women by the defendant, which stretched from his teenage years in the mid-1970s, until his commission of the murder of another sex worker in 1999,” he said.

“The prosecution say that the evidence of that offending is highly probative of the prosecution’s case that it was this defendant, and no-one else, who was responsible for the murder of Sarah Crump.”

Ms Walker's body was found in a shallow leafy grave near the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley in Surrey – a spot notorious for couples meeting to have sex – nearly six weeks after she disappeared.

After Smith was found guilty of the murder, Ms Crump’s mother said: “Nothing will bring Sarah back, we know that, but we feel there has been unfinished business while Smith has been free.

“I truly believe Smith to be guilty of the murder of my daughter Sarah. I said at the trial that he would kill again.”

The 2005 inquest of Dr Harold Shipman heard how Smith had regularly played cards with the serial killer GP while serving his sentence at Wakefield Prison.

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