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David Fuller murder trial: Heathfield man accused of murdering Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce in Tunbridge Wells


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A necrophiliac accused of murdering two women 34 years ago cheated on one of his wives and had a "roving eye" a jury has heard.

Sally Fuller and electrician husband David accused shared an interest in cycling and photography.

David Fuller while out on a cycle ride
David Fuller while out on a cycle ride

On one occasion Mrs Fuller, described as "quite naive", was seen with a black eye and bruising from where it was said her husband had kicked her, Maidstone Crown Court was told.

Her sister Julie Staples also told the court that Fuller tried to flirt with her not long after he married and despite being a quiet person could be "verbally angry".

Mrs Fuller was "sick and tired" of him looking at other women - and began a relationship with another member of the West Kent Cycling Touring Club.

Fuller, 67 and from Heathfield, has admitted killing Wendy Knell and Caroline Pearce in 1987 but denies murder. He is claiming manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The jury has previously been told Fuller had sex with both Wendy, 25, and Caroline, 20, as well as a number of corpses in mortuaries he had access to.

And a nurse claimed that Fuller, with whom she had an affair from 1990 having met at a Kent and Sussex Hospital social club, later described him to police as "a normal, loving man" neither kinky, violent or sexually demanding.

Caroline Pierce (43419771)
Caroline Pierce (43419771)
Wendy Knell
Wendy Knell

In a statement read to the court, Susan Marjoram said: "I thought he was serious about us. We would meet at the social club and he would come back to my address and we were intimate.

"He never stayed the night and although we had sex there was never anything kinky. He was a normal, loving man, he wasn't violent, he wouldn't shout at me, he was never sexually demanding.

"He was a gentle man and treated me well."

Ms Marjoram said she and Fuller were together for a couple of years. She knew he was married to Sally Fuller and tried to persuade him to leave her.

She told police she also knew he had two children from a previous marriage and had met his mum.

Ms Marjoram added Fuller was kind and gentle, and she "never saw a different side to him".

Fuller eventually split up with Ms Marjoram and dated another staff nurse at the hospital, the court heard.

During the mid to late 80s, Fuller and his wife, who died in 2015, lived in a staff house at Broomhill Bank, a school for young girls with learning difficulties.

Mrs Fuller was a housemother and a former colleague told the court of the times they socialised.

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In a statement read to the jury, Wendy Turland described Fuller as "reasonably quiet and boring" unless the topic was something he was interested in "and then you couldn't shut him up".

Of his photography, Ms Turland said: "David was an avid photographer and saw himself as the official 'unofficial' photographer for Cutting Crew, who were doing a lot of gigging at the time.

"He would follow them and take hundreds of pictures of them.... They (Fuller and his wife) followed them everywhere and went to every gig. They must have spent hundreds."

David Fuller. Picture: The Sun/News Licensing
David Fuller. Picture: The Sun/News Licensing

However, Ms Turland said the couple had a volatile relationship.

"Outwardly, it appeared Sally wore the trousers but I don't think that was the case in reality," she told police.

"She talked about divorcing him... I seem to recall he had a roving eye and Sally was sick and tired of it.

"Sally was always the demonstrative one when out while David was standoffish. While out, David would be looking at others, not Sally."

Ms Turland also spoke of an occasion when Mrs Fuller asked her to mediate in a row with her husband.

She said she arrived at their living quarters at the school, Mrs Fuller was very upset and crying while Fuller was initially angry.

All their property had been labelled with Post-it notes saying 'Yours' and 'Mine', and in Mrs Fuller's writing.

Ms Turland also recalled another occasion when she saw her colleague with a black eye.

"I can't recall her saying how she got it but there had obviously been a fight... I remember seeing bruises on her arms and on her legs and Sally telling me David had kicked her."

Ms Staples told the court the family did not know much about Fuller's background when they met him.

She said he was quiet but would lose his temper, although she never saw him being violent with her sister.

However, Ms Staples said she was concerned Fuller was seeing other women.

Recalling his flirtatious behaviour towards her, she said she was "absolutely not" interested in him, adding: "I think given the opportunity David might have liked to speak to me further.

"Albeit a quiet person, he had a way with him that I actually disliked."

Fuller was quizzed by police 10 times over three days.

He was asked: "Did you make a young girl scream?

Fuller replied: "No comment".

The detective asked: "Have you ever strangled any girls?"

"No comment."

He told officers he was familiar with the Hythe area "as we used to go on the train from Hythe on the Romney Hythe Dymchurch railway line."

Fuller said he married Sally in 1982 at the Register Office before having a blessing at a church in Speldhurst. He said she was his second wife, his first was called Gillian, and he has since married again.

Fuller added that he came to Tunbridge Wells from Portsmouth and began working for an electronics company, called Ashdown Controls.

He was shown images of Wendy Knell's flat and asked whether he had been suffering from mental health issues in 1987 but answered no comment to most of the questions.

The officer asked: "These are very violent and sexual related murders aren't they? What made you so angry and violent during these two murders?"

Fuller: "No comment."

He said he was born in Deal in 1954 to parents Evelyn and Raymond and they later moved to South Africa when he was two or three but then returned to Portsmouth.

Fuller said he went through a four year apprenticeship with the Ministry of Defence. He married his first wife Gillian but it broke down because he claimed she cheated on him.

He said he then met second wife Sally at a pub at the corner of George Street, Tonbridge.

Asked about the relationship, he said "it was always good" and they later married.

"It was a long lasting , in depth. It was nice."

He said they had planned to have children. He added that after 17 years the marriage broke down when she was unfaithful.

"I was shocked and upset. I didn't know what was going on. It was with someone we both knew. I can't remember his name."

"It was a sad time. We were in a cycling club and she had an affair with one of them."

He later moved into a nurses' home at Tunbridge Wells Hospital after the split where he worked as an electrician and then met his third wife Mala.

"It's been wonderful. We have been married for 20 years and we have been very happy. It is pretty perfect and we are caring towards each other."

He said they married in Barbados in 1999 and now have a child. Fuller said he has always been faithful to his third wife.

The trial continues.

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