‘I was scared he’d tell someone’ – serial killer confesses to bludgeoning sex abuse victim

Steven Grieveson
Steven Grieveson
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A SERIAL killer confessed he killed his first victim after sexually abusing the 14-year-old schoolboy in a derelict house 23 years ago.

Steven Grieveson has already been convicted of murdering three teenagers in a four month killing spree between 1993 and 1994.

The 42-year-old killer went on trial at Newcastle Crown Court today accused of the murder of Simon Martin in 1990.

Grieveson denies the charge but admitted in interviews with detectives last year that he is responsible for the schoolboy’s death.

He said after performing a sex act with Simon he killed him on a mattress in a room at Gillside House in Roker.

He told police in January last year: “After it was finished I got scared and I started shouting at him not to tell anyone.

“I just flipped, I flipped, just flipped for a minute I did then I started strangling him then, I don’t know, I didn’t let go.

“The next thing he was on the bed and I got scared and I think there was a rock or something.”

Grieveson admitted he struck Simon with the object.

William Lowe QC, prosecuting, told the jury Grieveson took the boy’s trousers and bottoms, throwing his footwear into the sea and binning the clothes.

Grieveson, formerly of Roker Avenue, Sunderland, later told police he had pleaded with his victim not to tell anyone about their sexual contact.

“He was saying he wouldn’t tell but for some reason I didn’t believe him,” the court heard.

Mr Lowe added: “For whatever reason he strangled with his bare hands and with a ligature this 14-year-old boy and then smashed his skull.

“We said he did that with an intention to kill and that he is guilty of murder.”

The prosecution claimed the violence he used on Simon, and then on his three later victims, may have been to keep them quiet after sex, or to force them into engaging in homosexual acts.

On the evening of May 18, 1990 when he was murdered, Simon had been playing with friends at a local park and his mother Jean had asked him to be home for 6pm in time for his tea, Mr Lowe said.

The police were called at 8pm when he had not returned, and his father, a former soldier, and older brother went out looking for him.

His body was found on May 26 by two boys who were playing in the derelict house.

Simon, who was 5ft 2in and around eight stone, was naked from the waist down and lying on a mattress. Blood was splattered on the walls and he had suffered a serious head injury. Semen linked to Grieveson by DNA testing in 2000 was found on the boy’s body.

Bruising to his neck was also discovered, indicating he had been strangled.

Grieveson, who worked at a local fairground, had been seen walking from the park with his victim.

Three days after the body was discovered, the killer told police they had walked to a newsagents, and when he went inside the shop, Simon waited outside. By the time Grieveson left, his friend had disappeared, he claimed.

In his confession 22 years later, Grieveson told police he was a glue-sniffer and afraid of people finding out he was bisexual, Mr Lowe said.

The jury was told the defence will put forward expert witnesses who will give evidence to say the defendant “by reason of an abnormality of mind” was unable to exercise self-control, Mr Lowe said.

“The prosecution do not accept that for one minute,” the barrister said, adding: “Steven Grieveson had the ability to choose whether to kill him or let him go.”

Others teenagers have since claimed to have been sexually abused by Grieveson, the jury was told.

One of them, who was 16 at the time of the attack in the early 1990s, was grabbed by the defendant, threatened with a metal bar and told to take off his trousers.

Mr Lowe told the jury that Grieveson told him: “Will I have to kill you then?”

He then gripped the teen’s throat and started to strangle him, Mr Lowe said, before his victim managed to loosen his grip and successfully pleaded to be spared.

Simon’s killing was just the beginning for Grieveson

Grieveson, formerly of Roker Avenue in the city, has already been convicted of the murders of David Hanson, 15, David Grieff, 15, and Thomas Kelly, 18.

Grieveson had burnt the three teenagers’ bodies in a bid to cover his tracks during the four month murder spree between November 1993 and February 1994.

He had strangled the victims using ligatures.

It was on November 26 1993 Thomas Kelly’s body was found burning in an allotment shed behind Monkwearmouth Hospital.

On February 8 1994 David Hanson’s charred remains were found in a derelict house in Roker.

And on February 25 1994 David Grieff’s body was found in an allotment shed at the rear of Monkwearmouth Hospital.

Grieveson denies murdering Simon on the basis of diminished responsibility.

The trial continues.