Alice Gross’ Mother Demands To Know Why Convicted Latvian Killer Was Allowed Into Britain

The mother of Alice Gross, the schoolgirl killed in London by a convicted murderer from Latvia, has told an inquest jury her daughter’s death destroyed her faith in the UK’s ability to protect its citizens.

Police told the inquest Arnis Zalkans, a builder with a conviction for murder in his home country, murdered Alice before killing himself.

Nearly two years after the teenager was found dead in the river Brent, wrapped in black plastic bin bags, a jury inquest into Alice’s death resumed at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Pathologist Dr Ashley Fegan-Earl told the inquest he had concluded Alice was the victim of a sexually motivated murder after DNA tests showed she was raped by Zalkans.

Giving evidence in person, Rosalind Hodgkiss, Alice’s mother, said she accepted that she and Alice’s family would never know exactly what happened but hoped the inquest would prevent similar tragedies from recurring.

“We have many unanswered questions,” she said. “We want to reiterate that the reason for these questions is so that we can establish whether or not the systems for monitoring foreign offenders and cross-border sharing of information are robust.

“We appreciate that they may have changed significantly, but we remain stunned that a foreign national with a conviction for murder was not monitored, or even known about in any way.

“This has destroyed much of our faith in our country’s ability to protect its citizens. The Home Office and the police forces nationwide should be doing everything they can to ensure that this should not be allowed to happen again.”

Hodgkiss fought back tears as she described her daughter in front of the jury, Alice’s father, Jose Gross, and Alice’s older sister.

“Alice was a lively, popular and compassionate girl with many friends,” she said. “She was witty, smart and academic but she could also push boundaries, in this way she was no different to any normal teenager.”

“She wanted to be cool and she had a very individual and striking fashion sense. She experimented with her hair and make-up and had many different ‘looks’.”

Alice was keen on music, singing, playing piano, violin, guitar and ukelele, as well as writing her own songs.

Hodgkiss said: “She had something of the rebel in her, though she was also very conscientious and extremely keen to do well. She had very high standards and she excelled across the board.”

Coroner Fiona Hiscox told the inquest that Alice went missing from home on 28 August 2014. She was found on 30 September that year during a search of the river Brent where it meets the Grand Union canal.

Fegan-Earl told the inquest Alice had been tied to a bike wheel weighed down with bricks and logs. “It was evident from my assessment of the scene that the assailant had gone to some not inconsiderable trouble to hide her body,” he said.

Swab tests taken came back positive for Zalkans’ DNA, which Fegan-Earl said “strongly supported the possibility that a serious sexual assault was undertaken”.

Homicide with a sexual motive had occurred, he said, with most likely cause of death was compression asphyxia to the torso.

The inquest continues.

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