David Fuller able to offend for 15 years due to 'serious failings', inquiry finds

David Fuller entered the mortuary 444 times in a single year. Credit: Kent Police / ITV Meridian

David Fuller was able to offend for 15 years without raising suspicions or being caught due to failures of management, governance and regulations an inquiry has found.

Fuller sexually interfered with 101 dead bodies of women and girls in Kent hospitals between 2005 and 2020, keeping detailed photographic evidence of his offending.

Outlining his findings at a press conference in Westminster, central London, chairman of the inquiry into the David Fuller case Sir Jonathan Michael said there had been “missed opportunities” to stop the necrophiliac double murderer.

In one year along Fuller entered a mortuary 444 times, and this went unnoticed and unchecked.

David Fuller abused at least 102 girls and women, aged nine to 100, at the hospitals where he worked.

Outlining his findings at a press conference in Westminster, central London, chairman of the inquiry into the David Fuller case Sir Jonathan Michael said there had been “missed opportunities” to stop the necrophiliac double murderer.

Sir Jonathan continued: “Failures of management, of governance, of regulation, failure to follow standard policies and procedures, together with a persistent lack of curiosity, all contributed to the creation of the environment in which he was able to offend, and to do so for 15 years without ever being suspected or caught.

“Over the years, there were missed opportunities to question Fuller’s working practices.

“Had his colleagues, managers and senior leaders been more curious, it is likely that he would have had less opportunity to offend.”

David Fuller did routine maintenance tasks in the part of the mortuary covered by CCTV

Sir Jonathan said the inquiry now faces the question of “who should be held responsible” for what went wrong.

He said: “The senior management of the trust were aware of problems in the running of the mortuary from as early as 2008. But there is little evidence that effective action was taken to remedy these.

“Had the measures that I am recommending been in place when Fuller was working at the trust, I firmly believe his offending could have been prevented.

“The fact that the trust was apparently improving its overall performance does not in any way excuse the failings that allowed Fuller to offend.

“In identifying such serious failings, it’s clear to me that there is the question of who should be held responsible.”

Responding in a statement, Maidstone and Tunbridge Well NHS Trust said:

"David Fuller’s depraved, calculated and devious criminal behaviour remains deeply shocking.

"That he murdered two young women in 1987 and went on to abuse his role in public service to pursue his criminal activities is equally shocking.

"At the time of his conviction two years ago the Trust offered its sincere apologies to the families of Fuller’s victims. Today we repeat that apology."

The Trust Chief Executive, Miles Scott, said, "On behalf of the Trust, and on behalf of the previous NHS organisations that Fuller worked for, I am deeply sorry for the pain and anguish the families have suffered. I know how devastating it has been for them to learn the extent of his crimes.”

"We would like to thank Sir Jonathan Michael and his team for their detailed work. The Trust did not see the report in advance of publication, but clearly it contains important lessons for us.

"It makes 16 recommendations for the Trust including the installation of further CCTV cameras, additional swipe card access on doors, and regular auditing of mortuary access records.

"The vast majority of these recommendations have already been actioned in the period since Fuller’s arrest, and we will be implementing the remaining recommendations as quickly as possible.

"The Inquiry team told us if they came across any conduct of concern, such as potential disciplinary offences or breaches of professional codes of conduct, they would tell us. We have received no such notification, but we will be studying the report carefully to make our own assessment.

"We have worked with Kent Police and Victim Support to help the families of Fuller’s victims in a number of ways and established a dedicated compensation scheme. Our commitment to the continuing support of these families is ongoing and will be open-ended.

"Sir Jonathan Michael’s report covers a period of over 30 years. Fuller’s crimes were horrific, and the impact of these crimes will stay with the families of his victims forever. We now have a duty to ensure the lessons are learned."

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