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Man jailed for murder of young woman in 1991 

|News, Violent crime

A man has been sentenced for murdering a young woman 30 years after being acquitted of the same offence.

A cold case review by the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service Appeals and Review Unit led to the case being referred back to the Court of Appeal with an application that Smith’s acquittal be quashed, after new significant and compelling evidence came to light.

David Alexander Frank Smith, 67 of Middlesex was sentenced to a minimum term of 27 years today (26 May 2023) of the murder of Sarah Crump in Southall in 1991.

Sarah Crump had been working part time for an escort agency through which Smith had arranged a booking, using a false name, to meet her on the evening of 28 August 1991. Smith arrived at her flat during the evening, before shortly leaving the property to withdraw cash. He then returned and remained there until the early hours of 29 August 1991.

Sarah Crump’s body was discovered by police on 1 September 1991. She had suffered extensive injuries.

Smith was first arrested for this case on 5 September 1991 but was found not guilty at his initial trial in 1993.

After his acquittal, Smith went on to kill Amanda Walker and was convicted of that murder following a trial in 1999. Whilst on remand for that offence, Smith spoke of his involvement in Sarah Crump’s murder to another inmate.

This evidence, together with further fingerprint evidence led to the Court of Appeal quashing the 1993 acquittal and ordering a re-trial. Smith entered a plea of not guilty once more to the allegation but the jury convicted him after a full trial in which he declined to give evidence.

Catherine Gould of the CPS said: “Despite the previous acquittal and the passage of time we were able to build a strong case to prove that David Smith had, indeed, murdered Sarah Crump. Given over 30 years had passed before he was re-charged, Smith must have thought he had got away with this horrific crime.

"I would like to thank the witnesses who came to court to give evidence, often having to recall evidence of events which may have been very difficult to re-live. Our thoughts remain with Sarah Crump and her family and friends who have waited so long to see justice delivered’.

Notes to editors

  • David Alexander Frank Smith (DOB: 15/05/1956) is of Middlesex
  • Catherine Gould is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS London North.

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