Tyne & Wear

Serial killer Steven Grieveson guilty of Simon Martin murder

Steven Grieveson
Image caption Steven Grieveson admitted killing Simon Martin but denied murder

A serial killer who killed three teenagers has been given a further life term for the murder of a fourth.

Steven Grieveson, 42, has been convicted of murdering Simon Martin, 14, whose semi-naked body was found in a derelict house in Sunderland in 1990.

He is serving three life terms for strangling Thomas Kelly, 18, and David Hanson and David Grieff, both 15.

Sentencing him for Simon's murder, the judge at Newcastle Crown Court handed him a 35-year tariff.

During the two-week trial, Grieveson had denied the murder, saying the death was an accident.

The jury heard Grieveson, who did not give evidence, accepted that he did kill the schoolboy but blamed his actions on an abnormality of mind.

Killer 'haunted'

In 2012, the fairground worker, formerly of Roker Terrace, Sunderland, told police he took Simon to derelict Gilside House, sexually abused him and then attacked him.

He said he had confessed to the killing because it had "haunted" him for 20 years.

The court heard all four teenagers were found with ligatures around their necks and their bodies were badly burned.

Image caption Simon Martin was found dead in 1990

The bodies of Thomas Kelly, David Hanson and David Grieff were found between three and four years after Simon's death.

At first it was wrongly thought their deaths were due to experimentation with glue sniffing, and possibly drugs.

However, a review of the cases revealed they had been strangled.

Grieveson was convicted of their murders in 1996 and handed three life sentences, with a minimum tariff of 35 years.

He would have been eligible to be considered for parole in 2031, but the new term means this will not happen until 2048.

'Horrendous attack'

Sentencing him for Simon's murder, Mr Justice Ramsey said the schoolboy had "everything to live for".

"He came from a supportive family, of a father, a mother and a brother," he said.

"This was a horrendous attack and murder of an innocent young boy, groomed by you and lured for your sexual pleasure."

Speaking after the verdict, Dept Supt Roger Ford, of Northumbria Police, said: "Grieveson is a calculated serial killer whose actions left residents shocked and cast a shadow over the community for many years.

"We welcome this verdict and hope that Simon Martin's family and friends now feel that justice has been done."

Robert and Jean Martin, Simon's parents, said in a statement: "This is the end of a long journey for us, which will finally give us closure.

'Painful memories'

"Now Grieveson could spend the rest of his days behind bars.

Image caption Grieveson's earlier victims: Thomas Kelly, left, David Hanson, centre and David Grieff

"No other family should have to lose a son and suffer the heartache we have had to endure."

The families of Grieveson's three other victims said in a joint statement: "Our sons were taken away from us by a cruel man whose despicable actions cost four boys their lives.

"Listening to this trial has brought back so many painful memories for us, and we would like to express our deepest sympathies to Simon's parents for the pain they have suffered over the last 23 years.

"We hope that the outcome of this trial will help them to feel that justice has been done for Simon.

"Our sons would be grown men now. We will never forget them and they will live on in our hearts forever."

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