Leading action on extending sentencing for necrophilia

Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, has been leading calls for tougher sentencing for those found guilty of necrophilia in light of the horrific David Fuller case. In November 2021, Nusrat said to the Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab:

Women and girls do not seem to be safe from sexual predators whether they are alive or dead. David Fuller violated 100 bodies at a Kent hospital. Many of my constituents are impacted by these crimes. At present, necrophilia is illegal under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, with a maximum sentence of just two years. Can my right hon. Friend consider reviewing that to ensure that the maximum sentence is extended so that the punishment reflects the gravity of the crime?

Nus and Raab


The Independent inquiry announced and commissioned by the Secretary of State for Health into the activities of David Fuller was formally launched on 18 January 2022, to "look into the circumstances surrounding the offences committed at the hospital, and their national implications.”

The Inquiry will also consider if procedures and practices in other hospital and non-hospital settings, where bodies of the deceased are kept, safeguard the security and dignity of the deceased

The Inquiry will make sure that families and others affected can share their experiences and information in ways that are supportive and sensitive.

The Inquiry will make recommendations with the aim of preventing anything similar happening again.

The URL for the inquiry website is www.fuller.independent-inquiry.uk.

Any families who have been affected by the actions of David Fuller and want to get in touch can do so via the website www.fuller.independent-inquiry.uk, by email on Contact@fuller.independent-inquiry.uk or by phone on 0207 9721444.  Similarly, any past or present colleagues of Fuller are encouraged to share any information they think might be helpful to the Inquiry. 



On 8 November 2021, the Government announced an independent inquiry to examine the circumstances surrounding the offences committed by David Fuller in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and the national implications of his offending.

Phase 1 of the Inquiry is considering how Fuller was able to carry out unlawful actions in the mortuaries. This initial report was due to be published by the summer, but the Inquiry is reviewing new information it has received and now expects to publish the Phase 1 report in the autumn.

Earlier this year, the inquiry was provided with information that had been passed on to the Police in line with its terms of reference. The Police have now completed their enquiries regarding the new information provided to them and have found no evidence of any further criminal offences.

The inquiry will now need to investigate the information received by the Police and expects that a report before the autumn will not be possible. This delay is necessary to allow time for a thorough investigation of the information received and consideration of its impact on the inquiry.

The inquiry has notified families of David Fuller’s victims of the results of the assessment by the Police and the change in timescales.

Once phase 1 of the Inquiry is completed the Inquiry team will move onto phase 2. This will look at the wider national focus and consider if procedures and practises in other hospitals and non-hospital settings, adequately safeguard the dignity of the deceased.



Following the sentencing of David Fuller for the murders of Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce and for crimes of the abuse of bodies in hospital mortuaries, eight local MPs released a joint statement.

  • Greg Clark MP (Tunbridge Wells)
  • Tracey Crouch MP (Chatham & Aylesford)
  • Nusrat Ghani MP (Wealden)
  • Helen Grant MP (Maidstone & the Weald)
  • Huw Merriman MP (Bexhill & Battle)
  • Laura Trott MP (Sevenoaks)
  • Tom Tugendhat MP (Tonbridge & Malling)
  • Helen Whately MP (Faversham & Mid Kent)

The statement is as follows:

“We are relieved that Fuller will spend the rest of his life in prison for his unspeakable crimes. Fuller, from his sexual depravity, brutally extinguished the lives of two young women and has devastated the lives of their families, as well as those of the dozens of women and girls whose dead bodies he violated.

No British Judge has ever before had to pass sentence on such a set of crimes and we applaud the trial Judge for the words she used and the whole life sentence she has imposed.

Although Fuller will end his life in prison, the sentence cannot relieve the grief of the families of his victims. There is now much unfinished business.

First, to learn how Fuller was able to commit his crimes undetected for so many years; to put right the faults that allowed it; and to hold to account those responsible for them.

Second, the maximum sentence allowed by the law of only two years’ imprisonment for each of these heinous crimes of the sexual abuse of dead bodies must be raised significantly. Today in the House of Lords, Baroness Noakes will move an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to increase the maximum sentence to ten years for each offence.

Third, victims’ families must receive the counselling and support they need to come to terms with the shock of the news that they heard for the first time only 10 weeks ago.

We welcome the public inquiry that will be led by Sir Jonathan Michael. It must be comprehensive, unflinching and transparent. It must give victims’ families their say and to hear from everyone whose evidence is relevant.

We will support our constituents through the Inquiry and hope that it provides a basis for all the reforms that are needed.

Nothing will ever undo the horror and heartbreak that Fuller has caused the families of the victims. But we can and must be certain that no other family ever has to endure what they are experiencing.”



Having raised this issue in the Commons last month, she was pleased to see progress on this issue in the Lords on Wednesday 15th December, as Baroness Noakes presented an amendment to the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill on the issue.

Baroness Noakes called for the sentencing time to be increased from two years to ten. The Government's Lord Wolfson of Tredegar, the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Justice, confirmed the Government would be reviewing the issue. Additionally, he stated that there would be an independent inquiry set up to examine the horrific crime.

Nusrat continues to push for strong sentencing for those charged with necrophilia, and will be raising the issue in Westminster with the Government.

Please check back here for updates.


Attachment Size
Hansard of Baroness Noakes' amendment (153.86 KB) 153.86 KB


Update on David Fuller inquiry

Due to unexpected volume of evidence, the publication of a report into the crimes of David Fuller has been delayed and is now expected to be published in the first half of 2023.

David Fuller inquiry launch

Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, has welcomed the launch of the inquiry by Sir Johnathan Michael to look into David Fuller's horrific crimes.

Wealden MP calls for increased penalty for necrophilia

The MP for Wealden has privately met with the Justice Secretary Dominic Raab to discuss increasing the sentencing for the crime of sexual abusing corpses.

Necrophilia is illegal under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, but at present the maximum sentence is only two years. 

Wealden MP calls for increased penalty for necrophilia

The MP for Wealden has privately met with the Justice Secretary Dominic Raab to discuss increasing the sentencing for the crime of sexual abusing corpses.

Necrophilia is illegal under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, but at present the maximum sentence is only two years.