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Wednesday, 8 December, 1999, 18:55 GMT
Prostitute murderer gets life
Killer David Smith was described as Killer David Smith was described as "extremely dangerous"


by BBC News Online's Chris Summers

A sexually obsessed man who raped, murdered and mutilated a young woman has been jailed for life - six years after being acquitted of an almost identical crime.

David Smith, a 43-year-old lorry driver from Hampton, Middlesex, was convicted at the Old Bailey of murdering prostitute Amanda Walker, whose naked body was found at the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens in Wisley, Surrey in May.

In 1993 Smith was acquitted of killing Sarah Crump, who supplemented her modest income as a hospital secretary by working as a call girl. Her sister Suzanne was in court.

Sarah's mother Pat Rhodes issued a statement in which she said she was relieved that Smith had finally been jailed.

'I said he would kill again'

She 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."

Amanda Walker Amanda Walker...picked up by the 'wrong' punter
The man who led the Amanda Walker inquiry, Detective Chief Inspector Norman McKinlay, said Smith was a "very dangerous man" who had a string of previous convictions for offences against women.

He said: "My thoughts at this time are with Amanda Walker's family and Sarah Crump's family."

After the jury returned their verdict, the Recorder of London, Judge Michael Hyam, told Smith: "You've been found guilty on very strong evidence of a brutal murder. Anyone who has heard what you did to that unfortunate young woman must have been horrified and revolted.

"It is evident that you killed her to satisfy your perverted sexual obsession."



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He said Smith had shown no pity or remorse and had even "boasted" of the crime to another prisoner while on remand.

The judge told him: "You are extremely dangerous to women and clearly will remain so."

The 21-year-old victim, from Leeds, had been picked up in Sussex Gardens, near London's Paddington station - the same red-light district used by transsexual prostitute Jackie McAuliffe in the BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary Paddington Green.

Miss Walker's body was so badly decomposed a pathologist could not be certain of the cause of death. But mutilation of parts of her body made it clear "foul play" was responsible.

Blood matched

In fact a murder inquiry had been launched several weeks earlier, on 25 April, after Miss Walker's blood-covered clothes were found dumped in an alley in Hanworth, west London, only a mile from Smith's home.

Smith was a convicted rapist and a trawl of Scotland Yard's database of sex offenders who lived close to the scene where the clothes were found came up with his name. Tests found his blood matched that on the victim's t-shirt, trousers, underwear and black PVC coat.

Wisley searchers Amanda's naked body was found in the woods at Wisley
Sarah Crump's mutilated body was found on a blood-soaked bed at her home in Southall, west London in August 1991.

Smith was found not guilty by an Old Bailey jury after the trial heard that the woman in charge of the inquiry - Detective Inspector Jill McTigue - was accused of covering up evidence.

After he walked free, DI McTigue said: "The case is closed. We are not looking for anyone else."

'Same old story'

When Miss Walker's clothes were found six years later a team of detectives, led by Detective Chief Inspector Norman McKinlay, launched an "aggravated missing persons inquiry" which turned into a murder inquiry when her body was found.

A jury failed to believe his story - that he engaged in sexual foreplay with Miss Walker on the night she died but left her unharmed. It was exactly the same story he had given police in the Sarah Crump inquiry.

Smith had tried to explain away his blood being on the victim's clothes by claiming he had tripped and hit his face on the pavement as he left an "adult" party in Ilford, Essex on the night of her death.

He claimed he left the "party for broad-minded adults" in a "randy" state and drove to the red-light district of Sussex Gardens, near Paddington station

Smith told the jury he was still bleeding when he met Amanda and claimed he had bled on her as she tended his injured lip.

In fact he had picked her up in his car, murdered her and taken her to woodland at Wisley.

Her body was found after complaints from the public about a pungent smell coming from the area.

Soliciting

Miss Walker, an occasional drug user who had left her two-year-old son Macaulay in the Rawcliffe area of Leeds with his father, had been given a lift to London by friends but had jumped out of the car near Paddington station.

She was arrested for soliciting on the night of 24 April and taken to Harrow Road police station but was released about midnight and was last seen asking for directions back to Sussex Gardens.

Her next "punter" was Smith.

After his conviction, police forces from all over the country are expected to contact DCI McKinlay to see if Smith could have been responsible for a string of prostitute murders across the UK.



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See also:
08 Dec 99 |  UK
Killer beat earlier murder charge

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