A MAN has been convicted, under double jeopardy laws, of the murder of an escort in Southall in 1991.

David Smith, 66, was found guilty of the murder of 33-year-old Sarah Crump following the conclusion of a trial at Inner London Crown Court (24).

Today (26), he was jailed for life, with a minimum of 27 years

Smith had previously been acquitted of Sarah’s murder at the original trial in 1993.

After he was acquitted, he went on to murder another woman in 1999 and was subsequently found guilty of that crime. He has remained in prison ever since.

His conviction for Sarah’s murder follows a re-investigation of the case.

Det Supt Rebecca Reeves said: “After so many years, it is hugely satisfying that Smith has been brought to justice for Sarah’s murder.

“My thoughts today are with Sarah’s family and also with the family of Amanda Walker, the young woman he murdered in terrible circumstances in 1999, six years after he was acquitted by a court for murdering Sarah.

“Both Sarah’s and Amanda’s families have shown incredible strength, dignity and courage. I can only imagine how difficult it has been for them.

“Changes in the law made it possible, in this re-trial, to present evidence about the strikingly similar nature of the circumstances and injuries suffered by Sarah and Amanda.

“This, along with comments made by Smith while awaiting trial for Amanda’s murder, and the evidence bravely provided by other women he had assaulted, left the jury in no doubt he had attacked and killed Sarah.”

Sarah’s family said: “At long last, justice for our lovely Sarah. If only our mum and dad were here to share this momentous occasion.

“Thirty years may have passed but we still miss Sarah - she was a shining light in a murky world who wished for the best but found the worst in humanity.”

Sarah Crump was a 33-year-old former nurse, working as a medical secretary, who lived alone in a flat in Lady Margaret Road, Southall at the time of her murder in August 1991.

She was also involved in escort work, and it was through this that she came into contact with Smith. For personal safety reasons, escorts did not use their own name so Sarah was known as ‘Angie’.

Smith was keen for the meeting to take place at her address and made specific efforts to find out if she was alone, and that they would not be interrupted.
Smith – using the false name ‘Duncan’ – booked Sarah’s services through the Elite Escort Agency, using his work phone at Heathrow.

Shortly before midnight, he arrived at Sarah’s flat but left a short time later to withdraw cash from an ATM in Southall. He returned and, as was standard practice for escort work, Sarah phoned the agency to confirm he had arrived and paid.

It was also standard practice for escorts to call in once a client had left their property, to ensure they were safe and well.

Sarah called the agency at around 2am on August 29 to say ‘Duncan’ had left, but the person she spoke to – who knew Sarah well – noticed the call was short and abrupt, and Sarah did not use her name.

It appears Smith had not left the address, and Sarah – realising she was in danger – wanted to try to alert the agency and get help.

Sarah failed to show up for work that morning and, when concerns were raised, police visited her home and found her body.

She had suffered multiple injuries and there was clear evidence in the bathroom that someone had made efforts to wash blood from themselves.

Smith was subsequently identified as ‘Duncan’ from phone records kept by the escort agency. He was interviewed on numerous occasions and continually changed his story as the lies he spun were unpicked.

After initially stating he had never been to Southall or met Sarah, he finally confirmed he was ‘Duncan’ and had gone to her flat on the night of the murder but had left her safe and well.

Smith went on trial for Sarah’s murder in 1993 but was acquitted.

After the law was changed to allow ‘double jeopardy’ prosecutions in certain circumstances, Met detectives started a re-investigation and new evidence led to the re-trial.

He will be sentenced at Inner London Crown Court on Friday (26).