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cal­cu­lat­ing sicko was so des­per­ate to hide his gay ten­den­cies he went to great lengths to de­stroy all the ‘ev­i­dence’.

Those lengths saw him stran­gle four of his lovers be­fore burn­ing their bod­ies.

Over a four-month pe­riod in the mid-90s, the for­mer fair­ground worker mur­dered three teens in Sun­der­land. It later came out that he had killed an­other boy four years ear­lier.

At Grieve­son’s trial, a jury heard how his deep shame had in­spired his post-sex rou­tine.

But pros­e­cu­tor John Mil­ford QC said there was an­other rea­son why he killed.

Mr Mil­ford told the jury that Grieve­son was a gay man who was ei­ther “un­able or un­will­ing to ac­cept his sex­u­al­ity”, and that he killed his lovers for two rea­sons.

One was to “pre­vent them from re­veal­ing that he had demon­strated his sex­ual pref­er­ence to them”.

The other rea­son was “sim­ply be­cause he en­joyed killing them and set­ting fire to their bod­ies”.

And the then young man – he was in his early 20s – al­most got away with his crimes.

And it took Bri­tain’s top two pathol­o­gists to find that all three of the lo­cal youths had been stran­gled.

Ini­tially, Grieve­son de­nied all three mur­ders but was found guilty on all three charges and in 1996 he was was sen­tenced to three life sen­tences, with a min­i­mum of 35 years.

Af­ter the hear­ing, Det Supt Dave Wil­son said: “Grieve­son is a very dan­ger­ous man who should not be re­leased.

“He would have gone on to kill again.”

Tommy Kelly, the fa­ther of Grieve­son’s first vic­tim, added: “It is a great re­lief that this mon­ster is off the streets so no other fam­ily will have to go through what we faced.”

At the killer’s orig­i­nal trial, it was re­vealed he was also sus­pected of mur­der­ing 14-year-old Si­mon Martin, who was killed in Gil­side House, Ro­ker, in 1990.

In 2013, more than two decades af­ter the boy’s death, Grieve­son was con­victed of his mur­der.

Dur­ing the trial, the jury heard how Grieve­son wrote to his vic­tims’ fam­i­lies in 2004, but n o t rel­a­tives of young Si­mon.

He wrote: “I took a piece of your heart away from you that night. I’m sorry. Why? I don’t know. For­give me. So sorry for de­stroy­ing your fam­ily. You hate me. I’m hor­ri­ble, I know.”

It’s likely that Grieve­son will spend the rest of his life be­hind bars.

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