2003 May 16: Handyman gets life for killing Danish student

A museum handyman has been jailed for life for the murder of a 15-year-old Danish schoolgirl on the Isle of Wight.

Richard Kemp, 53, from Gosport, Hants, was convicted of killing Camilla Petersen at Winchester Crown Court.

He had confessed to the killing but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Justice Richard Gibbs said Kemp was a “serious and homicidal danger to children and young people”.

He said it was unlikely that Kemp, an odd job man at the Royal Navy Submarine museum in Gosport and a Salvation Army volunteer, would ever be released.

Camilla, from the city of Holbaek, was on a three-week exchange trip to England when she was killed last July.

Her body was found at Brading Down, a beauty spot near Sandown, where she had gone to sketch.

Kemp, who confessed to killing her in five letters he wrote after his arrest, has a long history of attacking children.

He was convicted of indecent exposure in 1970 and later spent eight years at Broadmoor hospital for sexually assaulting children.

He was convicted of indecent exposure for a second time in 1982 and was monitored by psychiatrists for another five years.

He began working at the museum in Gosport when he was discharged but continued his solitary lifestyle, making no friends at work.

Around 18 months before Camilla’s death, Kemp revealed in interviews with psychiatrists that his behaviour had regressed and that he had started masturbating in public and walking naked in woodland.

He had gone to the Isle of Wight on the day he killed Camilla to continue his habit of walking naked in the countryside.

But he was at a loss to explain why he had killed her in his confession letter.

He wrote: “I do not know why, she was alone, in the wrong place at the wrong time. Why I murdered her I do not know, I could have let her go but didn’t.

“She was a nice intelligent girl, beautiful in fact. I wasn’t even sexually aroused.”

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2002 Jul 2: Myrdet pige var taget i skoven for at tegne

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