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UK News

Woman’s boyfriend ‘cried his eyes out’ after discovering her body, trial of double murder suspect hears


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A man who discovered the bloodied body of his girlfriend in her bed told detectives “had I stayed with her that night she would still be alive,” a murder trial jury has heard.

Bus driver Ian Plass said in a police statement: “Not a day goes by when I don’t feel guilt about her death.”

The jury has been told that his girlfriend Wendy Knell, 25, had been hit on the head, strangled and sexually assaulted by an intruder at her bedsit in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Electrician David Fuller, 67, admits killing Ms Knell and another woman who lived alone, 20-year-old Caroline Pierce, but denies murdering them due to diminished responsibility.

Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce
Image: (L-R) Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce were found dead in 1987

The women died five months apart in 1987 and Fuller was charged in December last year after new scientific techniques linked his DNA to the crime scenes.

Mr Plass, who has since died, had been dating Ms Knell for 18 months and had planned a trip with her to Paris where they were to get engaged, the jury at Maidstone Crown Court was told.

He said in a police statement he had dropped her off on his motorbike and kissed her goodnight before leaving her as she opened the main front door to her home.

More on Kent

The next day, her mother Pam asked him to check on her when she didn’t turn up for work as the manageress at Supa Snaps photographic printers.

Through a window, he saw her under the bedclothes and shouted, but she didn’t wake up so he managed to get into the flat, he said.

He told police: “There was blood somewhere and I could see Wendy’s head poking out from the top of the duvet. I moved closer and stroked her hair.

“I pulled the cover back to her shoulders. She was lying on her side facing the wall. I lifted up her arm and pulled one of her eyelids, but she didn’t move. I couldn’t believe she had gone.”

Wendy Knell, was just 25 when she was discovered sexually assaulted and beaten to death at her bedsit in Guildford Road Re: David Fuller
Image: Ms Knell was 25 when her body was discovered at her bedsit in Guildford Road, Tunbridge Wells

Mr Plass went to a nearby fire station to raise the alarm. “I sat down and cried my eyes out,” he said.

Jurors were shown crime scene photographs from Ms Knell’s bedsit which included blood-stained clothes.

They were told that Ms Knell and Ms Pierce, whose body was found in a dyke 40 miles from her home, had both been worried about prowlers and peeping toms in the weeks before their deaths.

Jurors have also been told that both victims had been sexually assaulted, probably after their deaths.

The prosecution said Mr Fuller, who worked at two Tunbridge Wells hospitals for more than 30 years, had admitted sexually penetrating female corpses in the mortuaries there.

The trial continues.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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