Midweek Sport



- By KOURTNEY KENNEDY news@sundayspor­t.co.uk

IT was July 1979 and Paul Brumfitt, then 24, and his 16-year-old girlfriend had been arguing.

The row had devastatin­g results as it led to deranged Brumfitt going on an eight-day spree of terror.

During his rampage, he beat 59-year-old shopkeeper Sidney Samuel to death in Tilbury, Essex.

He then jumped on a ferry and went on the run in Denmark.

There, he strangled bus driver Teddy Laustrup, 40, in Esbjerg.

In August 1980, at the Old Bailey in London, Brumfitt pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaught­er on the grounds of diminished responsibi­lity, as well as one of wounding. He was given three life terms.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Gibson said that Brumfitt suffered from psychopath­ic disorders which had resulted in a “permanent disability of mind”.

But, despite his “permanent disability of mind” and three life sentences, he was freed in November 1994 after psychiatri­sts decided he no longer posed a threat to the community.


Marcella Ann Davis was 19, a single mother and a prostitute. She worked in the red light district of Wolverhamp­ton to support her nine-month-old daughter, Dione.

On the night of February 7, 1999, Marcella left her baby with a friend and took a taxi to Shakespear­e Street, where she waited for punters. She promised to be back by 11pm.

She phoned the friend six times during the evening to check on Dione. Her last call was logged at 9.11pm, presumably just before she was picked up by Brumfitt.

Brumfitt, who had found a job as a council gardener, took her back to his flat in Woodsetton, Dudley.

It was there that he murdered the poor woman.

It’s not know exactly how Marcella died because after the killing, Brumfitt took her body to a small yard he’d hired in Cooper Street, where he proceeded to dismember the corpse and set it alight.

The teenager was identified by her dental records and a small bunch of keys found in the ashes that matched the front and back doors of her house.

By the time he was arrested for Marcella’s murder, Brumfitt had been with another prostitute on two occasions.

After his release from prison for the 1979 killings, Brumfitt was employed by Dudley Council as a temporary assistant gardener in May 1994.

When he went for his interview, Brumfitt had declared his previous conviction in accordance with the Rehabilita­tion of Offenders Act.

As part of his release from jail, he should have been assessed and placed under strict supervisio­n by the Probation Service.

Brumfitt was released into a hostel for six months before the Home Secretary decided he was available for full release on licence.

Having secured a job with Dudley Council, he was free to go about his life as he saw fit, just as long as he stayed in regular contact with his probation officer.

There were constant check-ups and reports were written on his rehabilita­tion into the community. They would have been sent to the Home Office.

But Brumfitt regularly visited prostitute­s after breaking up with a woman he’d married, a one-time prison visitor.

One of those prostitute­s was Marcella.

When Brumfitt was arrested, he refused to say a word to officers for 30 hours before finally agreeing to talk.


After his trial at Birmingham Crown Court in July 2000, he was jailed for life for the murder of Marcella.

He was handed another life sentence for the rape of a second prostitute on two occasions, three weeks after Marcella’s murder.

He was cleared of raping a third woman.

Brumfitt was also placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Mr Justice Jowett told him: “You are an evil, vicious man.”

Marcella’s mother, Allyson Parr, said: “She will always be in my thoughts as a loving daughter.

“I wish to express my gratitude to the police and the prosecutin­g counsel for bringing this case to a successful conclusion.”

Detective Chief Inspector John Smith, who led the investigat­ion, said: “Paul Brumfitt is quite clearly an evil, calculatin­g man.

“We are taking about murder and rape. We would describe it as probably the most vicious and evil of crimes.

“It was extremely difficult to get inside this man’s head.He refused to talk to us.

“When you’re talking to someone for two days and they make no reply, you have to be incredibly patient.

“Eventually he decided he was going to talk.”

But why had Brumfitt, a man described at his 1980 trial as having a “permanent disability of mind”, been allowed back on the streets?

Edward Crew, the chief constable of West Midlands Police, was scathing about the decision to release the killer.

Blasting the way Brumfitt was able to walk the streets and kill again, Mr Crew said: “If it wasn’t for the tenacity and expertise of the senior investigat­ing officer, that man would still be on the streets

today, free to rape and murder.

“It seems inconceiva­ble that a man who has previously been convicted for a litany of offences, for which he received three life sentences, can still be allowed to wander the streets.”

Michael Fabricant, Tory MP for Lichfield, said it was a “disgrace” that Brumfitt was allowed out of prison after having served just 14 years.

He said: “Until we have developed a way of diagnosing if people have been rehabilita­ted or not, we should not take the risk of releasing them.

“If that man had still been in prison, the last murder would not have happened.”


A spokesman for the Probation Service said at the time there were plans to change current laws surroundin­g ex-criminals on licence.

“In the case of Paul Brumfitt, his 14-year tariff expired in July 1993,” the spokesman said.

“After his tariff expired he was statutoril­y entitled, as a discretion­ary life sentence prisoner, to an oral review by a discretion­ary lifer panel of the Parole Board.

“All the reports available to the board – including reports from prison staff, a psychologi­st, a psychiatri­st and probation staff – concluded that his risk had been sufficient­ly reduced and recommende­d his release.

“In reaching a decision about early release, the Parole Board considers all evidence submitted to it and makes a risk assessment on the basis of this informatio­n.

“In this instance, the support for release was unanimous and, in some instances, enthusiast­ic.

“All stated unequivoca­lly that the risk of Mr Brumfitt reoffendin­g was minimal.

“Ministers also supported Mr

Brumfitt’s release.”

The Probation Service added that it was reviewing parole procedures and extended its deepest sympathies to Ms Davis’s family.

The spokesman continued: “We are currently conducting a wide-ranging review into parole procedures for determinat­e sentence prisoners, as well as the effectiven­ess, efficiency and fairness of the procedures for the review, release and recall of life sentence prisoners.


“This will include considerat­ion of the effectiven­ess of risk assessment at all stages of the process.”

For their part, Dudley Council – who were well aware that they had employed a double killer – said Brumfitt was a “good worker”.

At the end of the day, it’s a story that has been heard too many times already.

“He should not have been released...” “A review is under way...” “Lessons will be learned...” “We extend our deepest sympathies to the dead woman’s family...”

The fact remains that it was “unanimousl­y” agreed that a man with a violent, deadly past was to be released – leaving him free to kill once more.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? FATAL MEETING: Marcella Davis had a baby to care for when she was murdered
FATAL MEETING: Marcella Davis had a baby to care for when she was murdered
 ??  ?? HORRIFYING: Paul Brumfitt had a “permanent disability of the mind” – yet he was still released from prison after just 14 years
HORRIFYING: Paul Brumfitt had a “permanent disability of the mind” – yet he was still released from prison after just 14 years
 ??  ?? RISKS: MP Michael Fabricant
RISKS: MP Michael Fabricant

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