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David William TILEY





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Convicted rapist - Robbery
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: March 7/15, 2007
Date of arrest: March 17, 2007
Date of birth: 1960
Victims profile: His disabled fiancee Susan Hale, 49,  and her carer Sarah Merritt, 39
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Southampton, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on June 14, 2007

David Tiley (born 1960) is a convicted British murderer.

He murdered his disabled fiancee Susan Hale and, a week later, her carer Sarah Merritt at Ms Hale's flat in Southampton in March 2007. Susan was last seen alive on 5 March and their bodies were found on 15 March.

Tiley admitted both murders at his trial on 14 June 2007 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The trial judge said that the brutality and evil of Tiley's crimes defied adequate description, and recommended that he should never be released from prison.

After his trial, it was revealed that Tiley had received a six-year jail term for rape in 1995 and after his release had returned to prison three times for failing to inform police of his whereabouts - a compulsory procedure for all sex offenders.

Earlier in 2007, it was reported that the European Court of Human Rights was reviewing whole life sentencing to determine whether it amounted to a violation of human rights. Should the European Court outlaw whole life sentencing, then Tiley and all other prisoners serving such sentences would have their cases recalled to court for new minimum terms to be set.


Man killed fiancee and her carer

BBC News

Thursday, 14 June 2007

A man who murdered his disabled fiancee and her carer has been told he will spend the rest of his life in jail.

David Tiley, 47, stabbed mother-of-five Sue Hale, 49, who suffered from a degenerative brain disorder, and her carer, mother-of-two Sarah Merritt, 39.

Tiley admitted killing Mrs Hale between 5 March and 16 March and Mrs Merritt on 15 March. Their bodies were found at Mrs Hale's flat in Southampton.

Tiley was arrested in Swanage on 17 March, two days after the discovery.

At Winchester Crown Court on Thursday, Mr Justice Irwin told Tiley: "The brutality and evil of what you did defies adequate description.

"The only appropriate order in this case is that there should be a whole life order.

"The only proper punishment for you is that you must never be released."

Hampshire Police confirmed that Tiley, who had previously served a prison sentence for rape offences, was being monitored as a sex offender and a review of what had happened before the murders was now under way.

Ms Hale suffered from cerebellar ataxia, a rare degenerative brain disorder which caused her difficulties in walking.

The court was told Tiley lived with Mrs Hale's body in the flat they shared in Meggeson Avenue for more than a week after he killed her by stabbing her four times.

Nick Hawkins, prosecuting, said Tiley told police he killed Mrs Hale after an argument on 7 March during which she "taunted" him about something in his past.

Eight days later, her carer Mrs Merritt attended the flat for a regular appointment in which she normally helped Mrs Hale to bathe.

Tiley tied her up and took her cash card to withdraw 150 from a nearby supermarket cashpoint.

'Shocked to the core'

He later returned to rape her and stab her twice.

In a victim impact statement to the court, Mrs Merritt's husband, Peter, 41, from Southampton, said: "Sarah didn't do anything to deserve such an end to her life. I was truly robbed by this man that day.

"He robbed me of my future with the most caring and beautiful woman I have ever met."

On behalf of Mrs Hale's family of five grown-up sons, one of them, David Chopra, said that the "horrific details" of what had happened to his mother and Mrs Merritt had "shocked them to the core".


Sarah Merritt (left) and Sue Hale were found dead at a flat.



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