STEPHEN GRIEVERSON: THE SUNDERLAND STRANGLER
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.