Killer convicted of murder 30 years after acquittal

A murderer who claimed to have made a boast after being acquitted in the murder of an escort 30 years ago has finally been found guilty of the crime.

Lorry driver David Smith, 67, committed the nearly identical murder of another sex worker, Amanda Walker, 21, in 1999 after he was acquitted of the 1993 murder of Sarah Crump, 33.

Both women were ostracized by Smith, who was known to co-workers as the “Honey Monster” or “Lurch” because of his 6 ft 3 in height and heavy build.

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

Justice at last for our lovely Sara. If only mom and dad were with us today to share this momentous occasion

Joan Platt and Susan Wright, Sarah Crump’s older sisters

But he thanked the jury when he was acquitted of the 1991 murder of Ms Crump, after his defense lawyer accused the police of suppressing evidence and incompetence.

Police vehemently denied the allegation of rescue and said they were not looking for anyone else.

Smith was 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 as he pleaded guilty after less than three hours of deliberations, and Mr Justice Bryan said he would sentence him on Friday.

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

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

Smith is already serving a life sentence for Ms Walker’s murder after pleading guilty in 1999.

His latest trial heard that while on remand, awaiting trial for the murder of Ms Walker, Smith had boasted to another prisoner that he had already faced a murder trial at the Old Bailey, but ” was gone.

The prisoner said, “He said no evidence was found about him and he got away.”

Smith’s case was sent to the Court of Appeal and re-heard in 2003 following changes to the law on double jeopardy.

He denied a single charge of murder but offered no evidence.

Prosecutor William Boyce Casey told a jury how Ms Crump’s murder in the early hours of 29 August 1991 was part of his “escalating pattern of violent and sexual assault against women” which dated back to his teenage years in the 1970s Was.

They said Smith developed an “attraction and obsession” with some of the women he paid for sex and allegedly tried to rape an escort 10 days before the murders – they were held at the Old Bailey. Was acquitted of attempted rape.

Jurors were also told that Smith raped a young mother at knife point in 1976, and nearly a decade later cornered an unidentified woman in a car.

Ms Crump, a secretary in the chiropody department at Wimbledon Hospital in south-west London, formerly a psychiatric nurse, was said to have led a double life as an escort.

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Smith, who lived with his parents in Hampton, Middlesex, regularly used sex workers and visited her flat to pay for sex using the false name “Duncan”.

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

“The motivation was clearly, you might guess, sexual and violent,” Mr Boyce said.

He said the murder bore “many parallels” with the 1999 murder and mutilation of Ms Walker.

Her body was found in a shallow leafy grave near the Royal Horticultural Society’s gardens at Wisley in Surrey – a place notorious for couples having sex – about six weeks after she disappeared.

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

“I really do blame Smith for the murder of my daughter Sarah. I said at the trial that he would kill again.

Harold Shipman’s 2005 inquest revealed how Smith had regularly played cards with serial killer GP while serving his sentence at Wakefield Prison.

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