Further Charges Relating to Alleged Offences Committed in Mortuaries at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust – 4 October 2022
Statement from Sir Jonathan Michael, Chair of the Inquiry:
“My team and I are aware of the further charges relating to alleged offences committed in mortuaries at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, that have been brought against David Fuller today.
Our investigative and our evidence gathering work is continuing as planned and, as I informed families of the victims recently, we expect to publish our report on matters relating to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in the first half of next year.
The additional charges brought by Kent Police and the Crown Prosecution Service are not currently expected to alter the timeline of our work.”
An update on the Inquiry’s progress and the timing of its report on matters relating to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust – 3 October 2022
Sir Jonathan Michael, Chair of the Independent Inquiry, has written to all families the Inquiry is in touch with, to update them on the Inquiry’s progress so far.
The volume of evidence the Inquiry has and continues to receive, and the number of witnesses to interview, is far greater than anticipated.
In order to ensure all evidence is considered and analysed thoroughly, the Inquiry will therefore require more time than originally planned. Sir Jonathan Michael and his team are committed to being thorough and will balance that with working at pace.
This means that the Inquiry’s initial report on matters relating to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, will now be published in the first half of 2023.
The Inquiry Publishes a progress update 19 May 2022
Today the 19th May 2022, the Independent Inquiry into the issues raised by the David Fuller case has published a progress update.
The Inquiry Publishes its Terms of Reference 23rd February 2022
Today the 23rd February 2022, the Independent Inquiry into the issues raised by the David Fuller case has published its terms of reference.
The Inquiry team sought the views of families affected by the case on a draft of the terms of reference and the final version published today reflects their comments.
Sir Jonathan Michael, Chair of the Inquiry, said:
“On my appointment as Chair, I made the commitment that I would seek the views of the families affected by Fuller’s actions on the Inquiry’s draft terms of reference, to ensure they remain at the heart of this investigation.
All the families who gave consent via Kent Police to be contacted by the Inquiry, or who approached the Inquiry directly to give their consent, were contacted and invited to share their views on our draft terms of reference. I would like to extend my gratitude to families for the considered responses that we received.
Now that the terms of reference have been published, we can begin our work to collect evidence and information both from those who have been affected, and from the organisations involved. We are already in contact with many of them. But I urge anyone else affected by, or with information about, the issues involved in our Inquiry to contact us as soon as possible – your views, experiences and knowledge could be vital to our work.
My team and I are focused on pressing ahead so that families can receive the answers they need and deserve, and changes are made to prevent a recurrence of the atrocities committed by David Fuller.”
Any families who have been affected by the actions of David Fuller and would like to contact the Inquiry can do so via its website www.fuller.independent-inquiry.uk, by email on Contact@fuller.independent-inquiry.uk or by phone on 0207 972 1444. Similarly, the Inquiry asks any former colleagues of Fuller to share with it any information they believe might be helpful to the Inquiry.
Chair’s Opening Statement on 18th January 2022
On 8 November last year, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced an independent inquiry into the issues raised by the actions of David Fuller, the maintenance supervisor who committed sexual offences in the mortuary of the Kent and Sussex Hospital and the Tunbridge Wells Hospital. I accepted the Secretary of State’s invitation to Chair the Inquiry and lead this vital piece of work.
David Fuller was sentenced for his crimes on 15 December 2021 and will, rightly, spend the rest of his life in prison. Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb in her sentencing of Fuller remarked that the families of his victims were nauseated and heart-broken by the immorality of his abhorrent acts. She went on to comment that his violations go against everything right and humane and described his crimes as incomprehensible. I commend the courage and dignity of the families of his victims who spoke of the dreadful impact of Fuller’s crimes at his trial.
The Inquiry will be in two parts. The first stage will focus on Fuller’s activities in the Kent and Sussex Hospital and the Tunbridge Wells Hospital. The second part will be to look at the implications of Fuller’s activities and the issues identified in part one, for the country as a whole in order to safeguard the deceased and ensure that Fuller’s horrendous activity cannot be repeated elsewhere.
No-one reading of David Fuller’s acts and the fact that they happened in an NHS Trust’s mortuary can fail to be horrified and distressed by them. Understanding how these offences took place in hospital settings without detection over such a long period of time, will require a focused and detailed approach. I am determined that my team and I will be objective and thorough in all our work. I am equally determined that we will provide an opportunity for those families and staff who have been directly affected by the actions of David Fuller, to share their experiences and information with the Inquiry in ways that are sensitive and supportive. This will be at the heart of how we approach the Inquiry.
We have spent the last few weeks working hard to put foundations in place for the Inquiry. I am pleased to say that those foundations are now in place. On my appointment as Chair, I made the commitment that I would seek the views of the families affected by Fuller’s actions on the Inquiry’s draft terms of reference. Kent Police have now written to the families involved, asking for permission to pass their contact details to the Inquiry, so that we may get in touch to seek their views. I want to assure families that the Inquiry will protect the privacy and the dignity of their loved ones throughout our work.
Any families who have been affected by the actions of David Fuller who want to get in touch with us can do so via our 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. The information shared with us will help us in our work.
The task my team and I face is challenging but vitally important We are committed to conducting our work with determination and with sensitivity and compassion for all those so horrendously affected.
From tomorrow, I will be writing directly to families who have given their consent to be contacted, and to others who are relevant to our Inquiry. I will be seeking their views on our Terms of Reference.