CONTRACTORS are expected to start work demolishing the home of serial killers Frederick and Rosemary West on Monday.

In a carefully planned operation, workmen will move into Cromwell Street, Gloucester, to set up boarding around the semi-detached house at Number 25 and its derelict next-door neighbour at 23.

At the same time, a police guard will be mounted to stop souvenir-hunters in search of macabre mementos of the house and garden where Fred West buried nine of the couple's victims.

Gloucester City Council announced yesterday that it had bought the two Edwardian properties for an undisclosed sum, believed to be in five figures.

The contractors will work every day for 15 days until the last vestiges of the House of Horrors have gone - the bricks will be removed piece by piece, the timbers burned and the fittings melted down.

The bricks and mortar are to be crushed, mixed with other general waste, then used to fill prepared holes in undisclosed parts of the giant council waste tip at Hempstead, and immediately covered over.

At the end of the demolition an inches-thick concrete ``cap'' will cover the cleared site. Cash from the sale of the West's home will be sent to the Official Solicitor, the court official who is overseeing the estate of Frederick West for the benefit of his five youngest children.

West, 53, hanged himself on January 1, 1995, in his remand cell at Birmingham Prison while awaiting trial on 12 murder counts.

His wife, Rosemary West, 42, is serving life imprisonment after being convicted of murdering 10 girls and young women, including her daughter Heather, 16, and 8-year-old stepdaughter Charmaine.