Man who brutally killed girlfriend's 17-month-son murdered by vigilantes after serving 33 years in prison
David Gaut, who was sentenced to life in prison after brutally killing 17-month old Chi Ming Shek in South Wales 33 years ago, was found dead by authorities with severe injuries
A 54-year-old man who tortured a toddler to death in 1985 was found murdered in his home barely six weeks after he moved in there. Police suspect the convicted baby killer may have been the victim of vigilantes.
David Gaut, who was sentenced to life in prison after brutally killing 17-month old Chi Ming Shek in South Wales 33 years ago, was found dead by authorities with severe head and facial injuries in his rented council flat in New Tredegar, South Wales. Neighbours Darren Evesham, 47, David Osbourne, 51, and Ieuan Harley, 23, have since been arrested in connection with the murder.
According to the police, Gaut was released from prison in November but moved into the New Tredegar neighborhood just six weeks ago — it is not clear where he lived before moving to New Tredegar.
Gaut apparently admitted to spending 33 years in prison — but he told neighbors he had shot a soldier, and also claimed that he was a victim of a miscarriage of justice, a Daily Mail report said.
However, his new neighbors delved further and soon discovered his sickening past using Google. Gossip about Gaut's crime swept the village and feelings began to run "high" after people learned a child killer was living in their midst, the Sun said.
In July 1985, Gaut, then 21, was jailed for life for the murder of his then-girlfriend Jane Pickthall's 17-month-son Chi Ming Shek. The incident had taken place in the Welsh village of Caerphilly, just 11 miles from New Tredegar where Gaut was recently murdered.
According to the Sun, the baby's mum Pickthall had been out drinking and left Gaut to look after her two young children. After arriving home, Gaut even went on to have sex with Pickthall, then 23. It was only the following day that she found her son's body — battered, kicked, and with burned soles — under a chest of drawers in his bedroom.
At the murder trial, Gaut tried to make the death look accidental. But a pathologist said the baby's injuries could have only been caused by punching, kicking, falling, being thrown or a combination of these. Neighbours also reported that while the mother was out, they heard loud noises, including banging and crashes.
In a conversation with Daily Mail, the mother of a baby, Pickthall, revealed that law enforcement did not inform her that her son's killer had been murdered. She said she was shocked to hear the news but declined to comment any further on the incident.
Authorities said Gaut may have been moved three times before arriving at New Tredegar. Villagers are angry that the criminal was housed in a council apartment in their community.
A local, who did not want to be named, told Daily Mail that they got to know Gaut quite well since he moved into the neighbourhood. "He used to go on about how he had been in prison for 33 years. He bragged about it. He told us he had shot a soldier but he told us he had been set up. We were in his flat and saw his middle name was Tracy on the letters he had.
"We thought that was unusual so I googled him to see if I could find out what he had done. That's when we saw the details of what he did to the baby boy. We couldn't believe it. It's disgusting. I can't believe we have been living (near) that. Apparently he's been moved three times since he's been out if prison. Word got out then about what he had done."
Another woman told the publication: "He then said he had shot someone a long time ago but we knew that wasn't true. Everyone knew he killed a baby and everyone was talking about it."
Law enforcement authorities have allegedly been looking inside wheelie bins while combing the area, according to neighbors. Forensics experts were photographing the lawn outside his home, they said.
One resident who lives nearby said: "They've been looking everywhere. There was a burnt out car that they were looking at. They've been in our bins and looked in the river as well."
Another neighbor claimed to have spoken to Gaut but had no inkling of his criminal history.
He said: "I helped to move his TV into his house. He's only been here a matter of weeks. He told me that had served 33 years but said he didn't do it. I didn't ask questions. I was away when it happened so I didn't hear anything but I'm not surprised. You don't know who is moving into this street anymore.
"I didn't have much to do with him but I spoke to him from time to time. The police have been combing all the grass so it looks like they are looking for a murder weapon. I've lived on this street for years and it used to be great. We used to have lovely street parties. It's all changed now."