Sally Anne Bowman's remains were exhumed after her grave was desecrated

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The mother of murdered model Sally Anne Bowman has told how her ashes were exhumed after "cruel people" repeatedly desecrated her grave.

Linda Bowman was left having to guard her 18-year-old daughter's resting place, after it began attracting "absolute fruit loops" who would vandalise the grave at night.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the grieving mother told how the grave was damaged four times in six months, including occasions when the headstone was smashed and ghoulish cards were left at the site.

Miss Bowman was raped and stabbed to death by serial violent sexual predator Mark Dixie in a frenzied attack outside her home in 2005.

Her body was eventually laid to rest in a cemetery in Croydon, south London.

"We had to have Sally Anne's remains exhumed and her ashes brought home because someone kept destroying her grave and her headstone," she told the newspaper.

"We used to have funny men hanging around over there.

"Myself and her dad had to go through the Ministry of Justice to have it exhumed."

Miss Bowman's ashes were exhumed four years ago following the traumatising incidents that included her grave being covered with dirt and dead flowers.

The harrowing experience brought memories of their daughter's death "flooding back", Mrs Bowman said.

"There are some cruel people out there who get a kick out of these things. So she's no longer there," she said.

Dixie, a father-of-three who worked as a chef, was jailed for life, with a minimum of 34 years, in 2008 over the killing.

Convicted with the help of DNA evidence, he maintained his innocence until eventually confessing in 2015.

In July the 46-year-old admitted carrying out brutal sex attacks on two other women, including raping a woman in her own car in an isolated south London car park in 1987, when he was just 16, before tying her up inside and setting it on fire.

The second attack, in 2002, saw him bludgeon a woman with a chef's steel - normally used to sharpen kitchen knives - before telling her "I'm going to kill you" and molesting her.

During a hearing at Southwark Crown Court in London a detective told how he fears the "dangerous sexual predator" may have more victims.

He is due to be sentenced in September.