'Bones' Found Next-Door To Rose West's Childhood Home

19/03/2014 16:43 GMT | Updated 19/03/2014 16:59 GMT
FILE -- Undated file photo of serial killer Rosemary West and her husband Fred, who was found hanged in his prison cell awaiting trial on 12 murder charges. Britain's Home Secretary Jack Straw has decided that Rosemary West, 43, who was convicted in November 1995 of killing 10 young women and children, should never be freed and has imposed a life tariff on her sentence. West, who was informed of Straw's decision last week, could have possibly been entitled to be released after serving a minimum of 15 years in jail. (AP Photo/PA/Files) *UNITED KINGDOM OUT*

Bones have been recovered by police from the house next-door to serial killer Rose West's childhood home, after its owner found them while cleaning out a fire place.

Gavin Crowther, a freelance cameraman, had lived in the house for 11 years before making the gruesome discovery, finding vertebrae, a rib and a femur as he removed his old gas fire to replace it with a wood burner.

“It looked the right size for a small child. It was a bit of a shallow grave scenario. What didn’t help was I knew Rose West was reported to have grown up in the house next door," he told the Plymouth Herald.

West, who was convicted of 10 murders in 1995, lived in the house on Benbow Stret, Plymouth, between the ages of eight and 10.

Professor Sue Black, OBE, a forensic anthropologist and director of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at Dundee University told police the bones were most likely cow or sheep – not human.

"Given the history of the street, I think we all wanted to be sure," Crowther said. "Within two hours of them being found I got a call from police saying ‘it’s okay, you can fill the hole in – they’re animal bones’."

West is still serving a life sentence at Low Newton prison, Durham. Her husband Fred committed suicide while awaiting trial.