Independent inquiry into David Fuller's attacks on corpses launched by Government

There will be an independent inquiry into how David Fuller was able to abuse bodies in hospital morgues, the Health Secretary has announced.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid speaking at a Downing Street press conference in October 2021 (PA)

Hospital electrician Fuller has admitted murdering and then sexually assaulting two women, before carrying out dozens of attacks on corpses in mortuaries over a number of years.

Police have found evidence of 100 victims, 81 of whom have been formally identified and whose families are now being supported by specialist police officers, MPs heard today.

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Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Sajid Javid told MPs: “Given the scale and the nature of these sexual offences, I believe that we must go further.

“Today I can announce that I am replacing the trust investigation with an independent inquiry.

“The inquiry will look into the circumstances surrounding the offences committed at the hospital, and their national implications.

“It will help us understand how these offences took place without detection in the trust, identify any areas where early action by this trust was necessary, and then consider wider national issues, including for the NHS.”

The inquiry will be chaired by Sir Jonathan Michael, a former chief of both the Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Trust in London, as well as University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, and later Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust.

The investigation will be split into two parts, with the first interim report due “early in the new year”, and a final report “looking at the broader national picture and wider lessons for the NHS and other settings,” Mr Javid said.

The Health Secretary also offered an apology to the victims’ families and friends following the “profoundly upsetting case” that has involved “distressing” detail.

“The victims are not just those family members and friends who have been abused in this most horrific of ways. They are also those that are left behind.

“People who have already experienced such loss and now experience unimaginable pain and anger. They are victims too,” Mr Javid said.

“I know that no apology can undo the pain and suffering caused by these offences, but with such serious issues of dignity and security we have a duty to look at what happened in detail, and make sure it never happens again.”