< Back to 68k.news UK front page

Sarah Crump murder: Man jailed for life for 1991 killing

Original source (on modern site) | Article images: [1] [2]

Image source, Family handout

Image caption,

Sarah Crump was described by her sisters as, "a shining light in a murky world who wished for the best but found the worst in humanity"

A prolific sex attacker has been jailed for life with a minimum 27-year term for murdering a woman in west London, 30 years after he was cleared of the crime, under "double jeopardy" law.

David Smith, 67, killed Sarah Crump, 33, and "brutally" mutilated her body in her Southall flat in 1991.

Smith, from Hanwell, was cleared of murder in 1993, boasting that he had "got away with it".

He went on to kill another woman, Amanda Walker, 21, in 1999.

Both women were sexually mutilated by Smith, who was known to colleagues as the "Honey Monster" or "Lurch" because of his 6ft 3in height and heavy build.

Mr Justice Bryan handed him a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years, minus the 479 days he spent on remand in the 1990s, meaning he will serve at least 25 years and 251 days.

Smith, wearing dark glasses with his head bowed, showed no emotion as he was branded a "sadistic sexual killer" and a "habitual and dishonest liar" by the judge.

Image source, Fisher Simon/Met Police

Image caption,

David Smith, 67, has been sentenced to a minimum of 27 years

Smith's trial at Inner London Crown Court heard that Ms Crump, a former nurse, worked as a medical secretary at Wembley Hospital during the day and as an escort in the evenings.

"I have no doubt your pre-meditated and planned intention that night... was to kill and sexually mutilate an escort to satisfy your perverted and sadistic sexual desires," Mr Mr Justice Bryan added.

The judge told Smith, who at the time lived with his parents in Hampton, Middlesex, that the killing was part of "an escalating pattern of violence and sexual offending by you against, but not limited to, sex workers".

Image source, Family handout

Image caption,

Sarah Crump was found dead at her flat in Southall, west London, in 1991

Lorry driver Smith, aged 34 at the time, visited Ms Crump on 28 August 1991 and was the last known person inside her flat.

In the days that followed, Ms Crump's boyfriend was unable to contact her and police visited her address at Lady Margaret Road, in Southall, discovered her stabbed body, and later arrested and charged Smith with murder.

He was cleared by a jury at the Old Bailey in 1993 of murdering Ms Crump, and later bragged to an inmate at Highdown Prison that he had "got away with it".

In 2022, the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial after hearing that "new and compelling evidence" was available.

'At long last justice'

The jury in the new trial was told Smith had been convicted of Ms Walker's murder six years after his acquittal for Ms Crump's killing.

Ms Walker had carried out sex work in Paddington, west London, and went missing in April 1999, the trial heard. Her body was found in the grounds of Wisley Gardens, in Surrey, two months later.

The jury was told that in 1976 Smith had raped a mother at knifepoint at her home in London.

He was further accused of the attempted rape of another escort worker in 1991 at a hotel 10 days before Ms Crump's murder but was cleared of that offence in 1991.

Following Smith's conviction earlier this week, Ms Crump's sisters said: "At long last justice for our lovely Sarah.

"If only Mum and Dad were here with us today to share this momentous occasion."

They added: "After the disheartening acquittal at the Old Bailey in 1993, our Mum said that Smith would kill again."

Follow BBC London on Facebook, external, Twitter, external and Instagram, external. Send your story ideas to hellobbclondon@bbc.co.uk

< Back to 68k.news UK front page