FAMILIES of the victims of necrophiliac murderer David Fuller will be “at the heart” of the inquiry into his crimes, it has been promised.

Fuller, from Heathfield, beat and strangled Wendy Knell, 25, and Caroline Pierce, 20, to death before sexually assaulting them in separate attacks in 1987.

He also filmed himself sexually abusing at least 102 corpses, including a nine-year-old girl and a 100-year-old woman, over 12 years before his arrest in December 2020.

Last month, the 67-year-old was handed a whole life sentence for the murders with a concurrent 12-year term for his other crimes.

The Argus: Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce Wendy Knell and Caroline Pierce

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has promised a full, independent two-part inquiry into what happened, led by inquiry chairman Sir Jonathan Michael.

Mr Michael said the task facing his team was “challenging but vitally important” and vowed to work with sensitivity and compassion for all those “so horrendously affected”.

The first stage will focus on Fuller’s activities in the Kent and Sussex Hospital and the Tunbridge Wells Hospital, while the second will look at the implications of his activities for the country as a whole.

“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,” Mr Michael said.

“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.”

He also vowed to seek the views of the families involved and assured them that the inquiry would protect the privacy and the dignity of their loved ones throughout its work.

He added: “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.”

The Argus: Murderer David Fuller Murderer David Fuller

Fuller attacked his victims in the mortuaries of the now-closed hospitals where he had worked as an electrician since 1989.

Fuller was caught 33 years later after a DNA breakthrough and a search of his home revealed he had recorded himself abusing bodies in the mortuaries of hospitals.

He pleaded guilty to murdering the two and to 51 other offences, including 44 charges relating to 78 identified victims, including three children, in mortuaries between 2008 and November 2020.

They include the sexual penetration of a corpse, possessing an extreme pornographic image involving sexual interference with a corpse and taking indecent images of children.

Images of him attacking corpses were discovered when officers searched his home in Heathfield where he lived with his family.

While images of dead women at the two hospital mortuaries being abused by Fuller were also found at his home, where officers also discovered four hard drives with five terabytes of data storage in total attached to the back of a cupboard.