Murder trial continues after accused admits sex abuse and killing of Sunderland schoolboy

STEVEN GRIEVESON ... pictured in an old police custody photograph.
STEVEN GRIEVESON ... pictured in an old police custody photograph.
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THE trial of serial killer Steven Grieveson continues today after he admitted to sexually abusing and killing Simon Martin.

Grieveson yesterday confessed to killing the first of his four victims in a derelict house 23 years ago, but denied murder.

He has already been convicted of murdering three teenagers during a four-month killing spree between 1993 and 1994.

The 42-year-old is on trial at Newcastle Crown Court accused of the murder of Simon in 1990.

Grieveson denies the charge, but he admitted in interviews with detectives last year that he is responsible for the 14-year-old’s death.

He claims all four deaths at his hands happened by accident when he was threatening his victims not to reveal his sexuality.

Grieveson has also confessed to carrying out sex attacks on five more teenage boys in the early 1990s.

The killer was convicted of the murders of David Hanson, 15, David Grieff, 15, and Thomas Kelly, 18, after a trial by a jury at Leeds Crown court in 1996.

Prosecutor William Lowe told the court yesterday: “At the trial in Leeds in February 1996, the defendant gave evidence before the jury and denied any involvement in the deaths.

“He lied to that jury, as he now accepts.

“He accepts he killed not only those three victims but also Simon Ian Martin.

“He maintained to the police that all three deaths were accidental.

“We say he murdered not only those three but also Simon Martin.

“The crown’s case is that he engaged in homosexual activity with each of his victims.

“He says what he was doing when he killed them was threatening his victims to prevent others learning of his sexuality and that each death happened by accident.”

Grieveson told police that after performing a sex act with Simon, he killed him on a mattress in a room at Gillside House in Roker.

The killer said during his confession 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. 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, and I smashed his head in.

“He was saying he would not tell, but for some reason I did not believe him.”

Grieveson had kept quiet when questioned by investigators in the past.

But during his confession last year, he said: “I needed to tell the police. It was haunting me for 20 years.

“I have self-harmed because of it.

“It drove me crazy, and I needed to give the family peace of mind and peace of mind for myself as well.

“I can’t move forward unless this has been said.”

Grieveson, formerly of Roker Avenue in Sunderland, had burnt the bodies of his three teenage victims in a bid to cover his tracks during the murder spree between November 1993 and February 1994.

He had strangled them using ligatures.

It was on November 26, 1993, that 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, a plea which the prosecution rejects.

Mr Lowe added: “The prosecution case is that Steven Grieveson has the ability to choose whether to let Simon Martin go or to kill him.

“He chose to kill him. He is guilty of murder.”

Simon, who lived in Sunderland with his parents Robert and Jean, was last seen alive on May 18, 1990, when he went to play out with friends at 5pm.

Mr Lowe said: “He never came home.”

Simon was reported missing that night and his body was found by two children playing in the disused house a week later.

He had died as a result of brain injury, with compression of the neck being a contributing factor.

•The trial continues.