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Last Updated: Monday, 1 December, 2003, 19:44 GMT
Triple killer 'targeted fourth victim'
Frances Mayhew
Pictures of Frances Mayhew were found at Hardy's flat
A 25-year-old woman could have been the fourth victim of a man who was given three life sentences for killing three women.

Anthony Hardy, 53, rang Frances Mayhew, from Camden, north London, in December 2002, to say he had found her handbag.

Ms Mayhew asked police if it was safe to visit Hardy's Camden flat and she was told it was. She said Hardy tried to entice her in but she refused.

A drawing of Ms Mayhew with a noose around her neck was found at Hardy's flat in Camden.

Ms Mayhew told BBC London how the former psychiatric patient repeatedly asked her into the flat where he killed prostitutes Sally White, 31, Elizabeth Valad, 29, and Bridgette MacClennan, 24.

Had he been at all violent and tried to drag me into the flat or something, the likelihood of me being in small pieces right now is very high
Frances Mayhew
The body of Ms White was found at his flat in January 2002 but Hardy was released after a post mortem found she had died of natural causes.

Ms Mayhew told BBC London about meeting Hardy.

She said: "I started to get frightened and said 'listen, you can keep the bag, I don't want it anymore'.

"As I turned to run he said fine you may as well keep it and then he just flung it at me."

Three days later she received letters and a Christmas card from Hardy.

She informed police and then went away for Christmas.

Anthony Hardy
Hardy pleaded guilty to three counts of murder

On her return she discovered Hardy was wanted by police after he was caught on CCTV dumping bin bags containing parts of the dismembered remains of his victims.

"Had he been at all violent and tried to drag me into the flat or something, the likelihood of me being in small pieces right now is very high," she said.

Police have also revealed that Hardy was investigated for three rapes but there was insufficient evidence to bring a case against him.

An inquiry into why Hardy was released from a psychiatric hospital one month before he murdered his last two victims has been launched.

The Metropolitan Police says they are investigating the circumstances surrounding Ms Mayhew's experience.

BBC London's Guy Smith
"It was a very close escape for Frances Mayhew"

Man given life for triple murder
25 Nov 03  |  London
Body parts victim named
04 Jan 03  |  England
Troubled life of murder victim
04 Jan 03  |  England

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