A sadistic “Ripper” killer who murdered and mutilated an escort has been sentenced to life in prison – three decades after he was at large for the same crime.
67-year-old truck driver David Smith was acquitted of killing 33-year-old Sarah Crump in 1993 after her mother warned at a trial that he would kill again.
He then committed a nearly identical murder of another sex worker, 21-year-old Amanda Walker, in 1999, for which he served a 24-year life sentence.
Both women were sexually mutilated by Smith, known to his peers as the “Honey Monster” or “Lurch” because of his six-foot-tall height and powerful build.
Ms Crump, a secretary in the podiatry department of Wimbledon Hospital in south-west London, had lived a double life as a companion and Smith visited her in 1991 at her one-bedroom flat in Southall, west London.
Smith denied murdering her but was found guilty at Inner London Crown Court this week after Court of Appeal judges ordered a retrial on “new and compelling evidence”.
The judge, Judge Bryan, sentenced him to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 27 years minus the 479 days he spent in pre-trial detention in the ’90s, meaning he will serve a minimum of 25 years and 251 days.
Smith, who wore dark glasses and had his head bowed, showed no emotion as he was branded a “sadistic sex killer”.
“I must convict you of this heinous murder, which I am sure was both sexual and sadistic in nature,” the judge told him.
“I have no doubt that your willful and planned intent that night… was to kill and sexually mutilate an escort in order to satisfy your perverted and sadistic sexual desires.”
The judge told Smith, who was then living with his parents in Hampton, Middlesex: “You have a history of escalating sexual violence against women.”
He said the killing was part of “an escalating pattern of violence and sexual offenses on your part against, but not limited to, sex workers” that culminated in the killing of Ms Walker.
Smith was convicted of this murder in 1999 and has already served 24 years of life imprisonment.
After being found guilty of Ms Walker’s murder, Ms Crump’s mother Pat Rhodes said: “I truly believe that Smith is guilty of the murder of my daughter Sarah.” I said at trial that he would kill again. ‘
While in custody awaiting trial for Ms Walker’s murder, Smith boasted to another inmate that he “got off scot-free”.
Members of Ms Crump’s family, including her two older sisters, Joanne Platt and Suzanne Wright, and Jill McTigue, the investigator who led the original murder investigation, were in court to see the verdict.
Prosecutor William Boyce KC said then-Detective Inspector McTigue conducted a “professional, rigorous and thorough investigation,” but Smith was acquitted in 1993 based on evidence then available.
He said the Met’s “significant commitment and persistence” brought the case back to court with new evidence, including the similar murder of Ms Walker, an in-cell confession and linking fingerprints found in Ms Crump’s apartment to the previous owner.
Smith’s case was referred to the Court of Appeals and sent to a new trial after a 2003 amendment to the double jeopardy law.
In a victim statement read in court by Ms Crump’s eldest sister, Ms Platt said she was speaking on behalf of the family, including her late parents.
“I can’t really express the pain of knowing what my sister went through,” she said. “My family and I will never come to terms with the brutal cruelty of Sarah’s murder.”
“Even after 32 years, it was harrowing to hear the details of the attack on Sarah.
“It was always very important to follow this up to finally get justice for Sarah.”
Ms Platt said the family had no idea Ms Crump, who had previously worked as a psychiatric nurse, worked for an escort agency and believed it was because she was born due to her “strong desire to be a mother”. , wanted to fund fertility treatment.
“We now want to remember Sarah as she was to us – the sister with the prettiest smile, a fun caring aunt and the daughter who was one of the top three girls in the world” – the sentence is now “tragic” on her tombstone.
“She was a young woman with a vibrant personality who lived life to the fullest, was sociable and popular,” she said.
“She was a trusting and caring person who believed in the good of people and refused to listen to criticism from others.”
Mr Boyce told a jury that the murder of Ms Crump in the early hours of August 29, 1991 was part of his “escalating pattern of violent and sexual offenses against women” dating back to his teenage years in the 1970s.
He said the murder bore “a number of similarities” to the 1999 killing and mutilation of Ms Walker.
Her body was found almost six weeks after she disappeared from Paddington, west London, in a shallow, leafy grave near the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society in Wisley, in Surrey – a place notorious for couples to meet for sex.
Mr Boyce said that Smith had developed “a fascination and obsessions” with some of the women he paid for sex and that he had allegedly attempted to rape an escort just ten days before the murder – he was found guilty of the attempted rape in the Acquitted Old Bailey.
The jury was also told that Smith raped a young mother with a knife in 1976 and mistakenly locked an unidentified woman in a car about a decade later.
The examination of Dr. Harold Shipman in 2005 revealed that Smith had regularly played cards with serial killer GP during his sentence at Wakefield Prison.
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