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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 November, 2003, 16:19 GMT
Man given life for triple murder
Anthony Hardy
Anthony Hardy was released from a psychiatric hospital last year
A man has been jailed for life for killing three women to satisfy his "depraved and perverted" sexual cravings.

Anthony Hardy - who had been released from a psychiatric hospital after doctors thought he would be no danger to the public - dismembered two women and left their body parts in a bin near his north London home.

Months earlier another woman had been found dead in his flat - but her death had initially been put down to natural causes.

Hardy, 53, of Camden, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to murdering Sally White, Elizabeth Valad and Bridgette MacClennan.

In sentencing him, judge Mr Justice Keith said: "Only you know for sure how your victims met their deaths but the unspeakable indignities to which you subjected the bodies of your last two victims in order to satisfy your depraved and perverted needs are in no doubt."

A motive for the murders we suggest is that he decided to kill these women in order to photograph them in various positions which he had arranged when were dead
Prosecutor Richard Horwell

Parts of the dismembered remains of Miss MacClennan, 34, and Miss Valad, 29, who both lived in London, were found in bin bags in the early hours of 30 December 2002.

The body of Miss White, 31, who also lived in London, was found in his flat in January last year.

And the Metropolitan Police also revealed that Hardy had been investigated for three rapes, but there was insufficient evidence to bring a case against him.

Richard Horwell, prosecuting, said a tramp scavenging for food in a pub bin on 30 December last year made a "gruesome discovery".

Mr Horwell said the three prostitutes died in Hardy's home.

Bridgette MacClennan
Parts of Bridgette MacClennan's body were found in a bin

"We do not profess to have every piece of this disturbing jigsaw, but the defendant had an obsession with pornography and liked to dominate women," Mr Horwell said.

"A motive for the murders we suggest is that he decided to kill these women in order to photograph them in various positions which he had arranged when were dead."

He said Hardy had been in the process of preparing Miss White to be photographed when he was disturbed in January by police who found her naked body when investigating a dispute Hardy had with a neighbour.

He was arrested for murder but a post mortem examination found she had died from a heart attack and he was released.

He later spent time at St Luke's Hospital in Muswell Hill, north London, in relation to the dispute with the neighbour but was released in November.

Hardy is a manipulative, evil individual and, as the judge said, a badly depraved character
Detective Chief Inspector Ken Bell
A month later his second and third victims were killed.

Mr Horwell said all three victims were crack addicts and were financing the habit through prostitution.

After the discovery of the body parts by the tramp, Hardy's flat was searched and the torso of Ms Valad was found.

Post mortem tests found she had been strangled.

She was later identified through DNA as there was no head or hands.

Elizabeth Valad
Elizabeth Valad's torso was found at Hardy's flat

Malcolm Swift QC, defending, said earlier that Hardy - who had originally denied the murders - "accepts he used excessive force in the course of otherwise consensual but extreme sexual activity but maintains he did not have an intention to kill."

Detective Chief Inspector Ken Bell said outside court: "Hardy is manipulative and evil. He is highly dangerous to women."

Mr Bell said he was satisfied with the initial investigation into the death of Ms White.

He said: "Without doubt Sally White died of a heart attack. What the investigation could never have known at the time was the background of Hardy in relation to his obsession with prostitutes and his sexual activities.

"Evidence from the murders committed a year on led me to examine the case of Sally White and to go back to the Home Office pathologist and ask him to reassess his findings."

The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"Hardy was described by police as dangerous and manipulative"

Body parts victim named
04 Jan 03  |  England
Troubled life of murder victim
04 Jan 03  |  England

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