Neighbours of child killer ‘rifled through his mail to prove his true identity before he was murdered’
Neighbours of a child killer rifled through his mail to prove his identity before he was murdered
The body of David Gaut, 54, was discovered in his rented council house after allegedly being targeted by locals who found out he was free from jail.
Gaut was jailed for life in July 1985 for the murder and violent torture of a 17-month old boy
Locals in New Tredegar, near Caerphilly, South Wales, are said to have became suspicious when Gaut “bragged” he had served 33 years behind bars.
Gaut had recently been released after he was jailed for life in July 1985 for the murder and torture of a 17-month-old boy just 11 miles away
A worried neighbour is said to have turned detective and exposed the baby killer by secretly checking his mail.
Other locals then scoured the internet to discover his evil past which spread “like wildfire” around the close-knit former mining village.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “We got to know him quite well since he’d moved in.
“He used to go on about how he had been in prison for 33 years.
“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 next door to that.”
Three men – including two near neighbours – have been arrested on suspicion of his murder.
Gaut was rehoused in the small ground floor flat by Caerphilly council.
Locals said the child killer “deserved the same treatment as his toddler victim”.
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “Nobody wants paedophiles, nonces or child abusers living near them – so it is no surprise to me that this caused trouble.
“I don’t know exactly what went on but we’ve heard that he was given a good beating.
“Some people are saying he should have the same treatment he gave to that baby. An eye for an eye.” Another neighbour said: “The flat where it happened is owned by the council, they’re always moving people in and out of them.
“Who wants to live next door to a child killer or a paedo?”
The flat and three neighbouring properties were sealed off by police investigating the murder.
Gaut, then 21, was jailed for life in July 1985 for the murder and torture of a 17-month old boy just 11 miles away in Caerphilly, South Wales.
The beast was babysitting his girlfriend’s son Chi Ming Shek – known as Marky Pickthall – when he battered, kicked and burned the sole of the child’s foot.
The baby’s mum Jane Pickthall, then 23, had been out drinking and left Gaut to look after her two young children.
She arrived home in Caerphilly and had sex with Gaut.
But the next day she found her son’s dead body under a chest of drawers in his bedroom.
A murder trial at Cardiff Crown Court heard Gaut tried to make the death look accidental.
The baby died of multiple injuries including a broken arm, injured liver and spleen and a fractured skull.
A judge described the murder as “the worst crime in the land”.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Caldfield said: “The person murdered was a defenceless little baby and on the fury’s finding you not only murdered that child but also tortured him.”
Police say Gaut’s next of kin has been informed and enquiries are continuing.
The child killer’s body was discovered around 3pm on Saturday.
A Gwent Police spokesman said: “The cause of death has yet to be established and will be determined following a post mortem examination.”
A spokesman for Caerphilly council said: “We can confirm it is a council property and we are helping police with their inquiries.
“As it is an on-going inquiry it would not be appropriate to comment further.”