David Fuller: The sisters killed in a car crash, abused after death
Nike Akande knows pain all too well. Seven years ago, she lost her husband and two youngest daughters in a car crash.
Now she is enduring fresh agony, trying to comprehend the fact that her daughters were sexually abused after death by David Fuller.
Mary was just 16. Her sister Helen was 22.
They lived in Paris but had come to the UK with their parents for a short break in Easter 2014. They were excited about shopping on the British high street, planning a trip to Primark.
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But shortly after they got off the ferry, a lorry hit their car on a motorway in Kent.
They died instantly. Their dad, Michael, who was also in the car, passed away two weeks later. Nike was the sole survivor.
‘Maman, je t’aime’
When Nike describes the crash, it’s obvious that she’s told the story countless times before.
Her voice falters though, as she describes passing sweets to her daughters in the back of the car.
Mary thanked her, saying “Maman, je t’aime”. Mummy, I love you.
But when the conversation turns to David Fuller, Nike sits back in her chair with her eyes closed, as if to block out what she’s hearing.
The pain on her face is indescribable. At one stage, she says: “No-one deserves this. Nobody deserves this.”
A hospital electrician, Fuller killed two women in Tunbridge Wells in 1987. He also sexually abused more than 100 corpses, including children, in two Kent morgues over 12 years. They included Mary and Helen.
The family has travelled over from France during the pandemic for Fuller’s sentencing. He will never be released from prison.
In court, families of the victims described him as “an animal,” and that he was “despicable, sick and twisted”.
This is the second time the Akande family has had to come to Maidstone Crown Court for a man to be sentenced over what happened to Mary and Helen.
The lorry driver who caused the crash was jailed in 2015.
Nike is being supported by her daughter, Audrey. She says she feels as if her sisters were killed twice.
When she was told Fuller had abused them in the mortuary, she nearly collapsed. She remembers: “Is it a joke, are we in a movie?”
She struggles to finish her sentence: “Because – dead bodies? What’s going on?”
“We’re in a nightmare, it’s not true. This cannot be.”
‘Demonic and satanic’
Audrey is pregnant but says she needed to see “that man” for herself.
The family is Christian and Nike says she if she could speak to Fuller, she would tell him that he “needs God, he needs Christ”.
She describes what he did as demonic and satanic but says she would forgive him.
Audrey can’t begin to think about forgiveness yet.
She wants to understand how Fuller could have done this to them and so many other families.
She says she wanted to talk to the BBC because she thinks her little sisters deserve a tribute.
It’s hard for her. She often breaks down.
At one stage, we have to stop so she can have a break.
But she is determined to press on, describing “lovely, beautiful girls”.
She smiles through her tears, looking at glamorous pictures of Helen, remembering how she always used to hog the bathroom.
She describes Mary as the baby of the family, who always had a compliment for everyone she met.
Mostly though, she talks about the joy and fun they brought to the family.
Now though, she says: “We’re still alive. But there is no more life, there is no more joy.”