Roy Whiting

Timothy Morss & Brett Tyler
DOB26 Jan 1959
Kill Total1
Kill PlaceWest Sussex
Kill Date1 July 2000
VictimSarah Payne
CourtLewes Crown Court
JudgeMrs Justice Curtis
ProsceutionTimothy Langdale QC
DefenceSally O'Neill
Case No:
4th March 1995, an eight-year-old girl (unnamed for legal reasons) was abducted and sexually assaulted in Langley Green. Roy Whiting was arrested a few weeks later after a man who knew Whiting came forward after hearing that the abductor's car had been a red Ford Sierra, which matched the description of the car that Whiting had just sold.

June 1995, Whiting admitted to the charges of abduction and indecent assault, and was sentenced to four years in prison.

November 1997, Whiting was released from prison having served 2 years and 5 months of his 4 year sentence, and was one of the first people in Britain to go on the sex offenders' register.
Once released, Whiting moved 25-miles away from his previous home in Crawley to Littlehampton on the West Sussex coast,

1st July 2000, The Payne family went to visit Sarah's grandparents at Kingston Gorse on the South Coast. After walking on the beach, Sarah went with her sister and two brothers to play in a cornfield.  They chased each other in a game of hide and seek, until Sarah got a knock on the head and decided to walk back to her grandparents'  home. She disappeared through a gap in the hedge. Her brothers Lee and Luke followed, only seconds behind her. But by the time they reached the lane, Sarah had disappeared.
Lee saw a white van coming down the road towards him, its wheels spinning. The driver seemed in a hurry to get away. As he drove past, he grinned and waved at Lee, who later described him as scruffy, with yellowish teeth.
Unknown to the boys, the man behind the wheel had just abducted Sarah. It was the last time that anyone other than the killer saw her alive.

17th July 2000, A farm labourer found a girl's body in a field near Pulborough, 15 miles from the village of Kingston Gorse (near Littlehampton) where Sarah had disappeared. The following day, forensic science tests confirmed that the body was Sarah's, and the Sussex Police began a murder investigation.
As the search turned into a murder hunt, suspicion quickly fell on Roy Whiting, a local man and a known paedophile. He had already served a four-year prison sentence for abducting a nine-year-old girl. And he had a white van.
When questioned by police about Sarah's disappearance, he said he did not know where she was, and claimed he had been at a funfair in Hove.

7th February 2000, Roy Whiting is remanded in custody after being formally charged with the kidnapping and murder of Sarah Payne. Heavy police security is needed as a crowd of more than 200 people besiege the courtroom.

14th November 2001, Trial begins at Lewes crown court in Sussex.
The jury heard from many witnesses, including Sarah's brother Lee, who had seen the van. The case used a huge amount of forensic evidence, many experts from several areas were used. Forensic evidence helped to convict Whiting. A single strand of Sarah's hair was found on a sweatshirt found in his van.
It was estimated that the cost of the investigation involved a thousand personnel and cost more than £2 million.

12 December 2001 - The verdict
Roy Whiting was sentenced to life for the murder and kidnapping of eight-year-old Sarah Payne  The jury of nine men and three women at Lewes Crown Court delivered a unanimous decision after a trial lasting four weeks. The judge recommended that Whiting never be released from prison.

17th December 2001, There was criticism of Judge John Gower who sentenced Roy Whiting to four years in prison on a previous occasion when he abducted a young girl. Whiting served just two and a half years in prison before being released and subsequently murdering Sarah Payne.

4th August 2002, Whiting was attacked with a razor by another prisoner at Wakefield Prison. Convicted killer Rickie Tregaskis was found guilty of carrying out the slashing which left Whiting with a six-inch scar on his right cheek.

24th November 2002, Home Secretary David Blunkett made a landmark ruling, ordering that Roy Whiting must serve a minimum of 50 years in prison. This would make him ineligible for parole until 2051, when he would be 92 years old.

June 2004, Whiting applied to the Court of Appeal for a new minimum term to be set.

9th June 2010, Whiting' appeal resulted in his 50 year jail term being reduced by 10 years to 40 years by a High Court judge.

July 2011,  Whiting was attacked in prison again, this time by twice convicted murderer Gary Vinter.
Vinter stabbed Whiting in the eye with a sharpened end of a toilet brush
Whiting did not press charges, and therefore there was no police investigation into the assault. Whiting's injuries were not life threatening.

8th November 2018, Whiting attacked again while serving his sentence  at HMP Wakefierld.
he was stabbed by two other prisoners in his cell, he was taken to hospital for treatment but returned to prison shortly after, Allegedly in a stable condition.