John Sweeney Was The Serial Killer Out On Bail
The remains of Paula Fields, 31, were found in six holdalls in the Regent’s Canal in Camden, London this year. The remains of Melissa Halstead, 33, were recovered from the Westersingel canal in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 1990.
Sweeney denies two counts of murder.
He is already in jail. Sweeney is serving a life sentence for attempting to murder girlfriend Delia Balmer with an axe in 1994, and for possessing two loaded sawn-off shotguns and a loaded pistol. He was jailed in 2002, after being granted bail and going on the run for six years. He worked all over Europe. In 2000, he returned to the UK.
When he attacked Balmer, he already had form – while living in Austria he was jailed for assaulting Halstead with a hammer. When her remains were found, Dutch police were unable to identify her body until DNA tests three years ago.
Sweeney remained free.
“The law allowed him out and allowed him to do what he liked.”
On November 13, 1994, Sweeney assaulted Balmer. He was arrested. And then he was bailed on November 22. Bail was granted on the condition he did not go anywhere near her flat. On December 22 he made went to Balmer’s flat. She told the court:
“He attacked me through my breast into my lung. They had to cut my rib to repair the damaged lung. I am deformed. He was just doing his work murdering me. I did die. I was resuscitated. I said go away, leave me alone. He never stopped. He had the axe above his head ready to finish me off. Then the man next door came out and risked his life. I had just curled up ready to go.”
When Paul Fields went missing in 2010, her disappearance was reported to police. They found a link to her and “Scouse Joe” – John Sweeney’s nickname.
What happens next is up to the courts. But why was he ever given bail?