A murderer who butchered a woman in a ripper-style killing has been jailed for her murder 30 years after making sick boasts he had “got away with it”.
David Smith, 66, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Sarah Crump with a minimum term of 27 years following a hearing at Inner London Crown Court today (Friday May 26).
Twisted Smith was found guilty of slaughtering Sarah in 1991 in a horrific killing that saw her found with her breasts cut off and her internal organs placed on the bed. While awaiting trial for killing another woman, Amanda Walker, a fellow prisoner reported Smith had said “he got away” with Sarah’s murder, the Sun reports.
Speaking after sentencing Detective Superintendent Rebecca Reeves, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “Smith’s sentencing today bring to a close a 32-year quest for justice for Sarah’s family.
“I am delighted that Smith has finally been held to account for this heinous crime; he is a depraved man who will now more than likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.”
Lorry driver David Smith, 67, was acquitted of killing Sarah Crump, 33, in 1993, after a trial at which her mother warned he would kill again. Smith went on to commit an almost identical murder of another sex worker, Amanda Walker, 21, in 1999, for which he has served 24 years of a life sentence.
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.
Ms Crump, a secretary in the chiropody department at Wimbledon Hospital, south-west London, had lived a double life as an escort and Smith visited her at her one-bedroom flat in Southall, west London, in 1991.
Smith denied murdering her but was finally found guilty at Inner London Crown Court this week after Court of Appeal judges ordered a retrial because of “new and compelling evidence”.
Mr Justice Bryan on Friday handed him a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years minus the 479 days he spent on remand in the 90s, 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”.
The judge told him: “I must sentence you for this abhorrent murder which was, I am sure, both sexual and sadistic in nature. 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.”
The judge told Smith, who at the time lived with his parents in Hampton, Middlesex: “You have a history of escalating sexual violence against women.”
He said the killing was part of “an escalating pattern of violence and sexual offending by you against, but not limited to, sex workers,” culminating in the murder of Ms Walker.
Smith was convicted of that murder in 1999 and has already served 24 years of a life sentence.
After he was found guilty of Ms Walker’s murder, Ms Crump’s mother Pat Rhodes said: “I truly believe Smith to be guilty of the murder of my daughter Sarah. I said at the trial that he would kill again.”
While on remand awaiting trial for Ms Walker’s murder, Smith boasted to another inmate he had “got away with it”.
Members of Ms Crump’s family, including her two elder sisters, Joanne Platt and Suzanne Wright, and Jill McTigue, the detective who led the original murder investigation were in court to see the sentence.
The judge said he hoped the sentence would give the family “some closure”, telling Smith they would be “safe in the knowledge you have been brought to justice and are likely to spend the rest of your life in prison”.
He said the mitigating features were “thin gruel indeed,” adding: “You have shown no remorse whatsoever.”
Smith’s case was referred to the Court of Appeal and was sent for a fresh trial following a change in the law on double jeopardy in 2003.