David Smith was finally brought to justice for the horrific murder of Sarah Crump (Picture: PA/Met Police)
A sadistic ‘ripper’-style killer who murdered and mutilated an escort has been jailed for life – three decades after walking free for the same crime.
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.
He 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’.
The judge, 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 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’.
‘I must sentence you for this abhorrent murder which was, I am sure, both sexual and sadistic in nature,’ the judge told him.
‘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’.
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David Smith bragged he had ‘got away with it’ after a previous jury acquitted him of Sarah Crump’s murder.