‘Our sons were taken away from us by a cruel man’ - Sunderland dad

ROBERT MARTIN: Outside court where Steven Grieveson received a life sentence for murdering Simon, pictured below.
ROBERT MARTIN: Outside court where Steven Grieveson received a life sentence for murdering Simon, pictured below.
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SERIAL killer Steven Grieveson is today beginning his fourth life sentence for the murder of schoolboy Simon Martin.

Grieveson murdered David Hanson, 15, Thomas Kelly, 18, and David Grieff, 15, during a four-month killing spree in Sunderland between 1993 and 1994.

Simon Martin

Simon Martin

He denied he was the killer, who strangled his victims before setting their bodies alight, but was convicted by a jury and given three life sentences after a trial in 1996.

He has since admitted he killed all three.

The 42-year-old has now been convicted after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court of the murder of 14-year-old Simon in 1990. His body was found in a derelict house in the city a week after he went missing in May that year.

Former fairground worker and kitchen assistant Grieveson confessed to detectives last year that the schoolboy was the first of his victims, but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

After an hour’s deliberation a jury of five women and seven men yesterday found him guilty of murder.

During the trial, the court was told Grieveson had claimed all four deaths were “accidents”, which happened while he was threatening his victims to keep quiet about him being bisexual.

Grieveson, who was flanked by five guards throughout the trial, showed no emotion as the horrors of his crimes were revealed before the jury. He later refused to return to court for sentencing.

He told police after performing a sex act with Simon he killed him on a mattress in a room at Gilside House in Roker.

Sentencing him to life in prison with a minimum of 35 years, Mr Justice Ramsay said: “You are a sexual predator. You will murder young boys or men who do not comply with your wishes for sexual gratification.”

Speaking about Simon’s death, the judge said: “Precisely what happened is known only to you.

“There is powerful evidence you strangled him as part of a sexual act, then gratuitously smashed his skull.”

Simon’s dad Robert was in court to see his son’s killer convicted.

A statement from him, which was read to the court, said: “Nothing in life prepares you for the loss of a teenage son, especially under the circumstances I lost Simon.

“My family have had over 20 years to come to terms with Simon’s murder and it has not been easy.

“It is even more difficult at times such as birthdays and Christmases.

“It has been traumatic and life changing for all the families.

“Now, Grieveson will spend the rest of his days behind bars.

“No other family should suffer the heartache we have had to go through and I am sure the families behind me agree.

“Our sons were taken away from us by a cruel man whose despicable actions cost four boys their lives.

“These were innocent boys whose actions led in no way to their devastating and tragic deaths.”