Child Killer John Taylor sentenced for 20-year sex attack spree including on a seven-year-old girl

One of John Taylor’s victims said he is ‘devoid of compassion, exudes evil and respects no-one or nothing but his sick gratification’.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood told Leeds Crown Court about the ordeals of five women and girls at the hands of Taylor between 1977 and 1996.

He described how a seven-year-old girl was given a £5 note to go and buy a loaf of bread by her mother in February 1984, but on her way she encountered Taylor, who subjected her to a two-hour ordeal.

The judge was told how the girl was carried to the churchyard of Christ the King Church in Bramley, Leeds, and tied to a drainpipe in a dark corner before she was repeatedly sexually assaulted.

‘The only noise (the girl) could hear was the sound of her own sobs,’ Mr Wood said.

The court heard the girl was left terrified when Taylor later appeared outside her bedroom, waving to her on a daily basis for a fortnight after the attack.

Mr Wood said she ‘genuinely believed the defendant would kill her’ and did not tell her parents.

He explained how Taylor repeatedly told the girl during the attack he wanted her to help find his dog.

When she was 12, Mr Wood told the judge, Taylor smugly approached her as she played with friends and said: ‘Will you help me find my dog?’

In a statement read to the court, the woman said: ‘When I heard about Leanne Tiernan I felt guilty. I wondered what, if I had reported sooner what Taylor did to me.

‘I often think about what she would be doing if she was alive now.’

The court heard how another woman was aged 19 in 1977 when she was raped at knifepoint by Taylor in Leeds as she walked to work.

In her statement, the woman said: ‘When evil touches you, there’s no way back to who you were.’

The prosecutor said that in 1982, a 27-year-old woman was held at knifepoint by Taylor in a Leeds wood where she was walking with her daughters and her son, who were all aged under eight.

Mr Wood said Taylor demanded she perform a sex act but the woman looked Taylor in the eye, as he held the weapon to her throat, and told him she was married and pregnant.

Judge Robin Mairs told the court the woman showed ‘admirable and astonishing’ presence of mind.

He said he was confident Taylor deliberately targeted the woman in front of her children, saying: ‘I am satisfied that you obtained some gratification in the despicable callousness of doing so.’

Mr Wood said the attacker fled when the woman’s daughters screamed.

The court heard how one of the girls said she thought her mother was going to be killed in front of her.

In her statement, the woman said: ‘I always felt, having looked into his eyes, that he would go on to commit other crimes.’

A fourth woman told police how she was pulled off her bike by Taylor in Leeds in 1987.

She then had a knife put to her throat and her face smashed on the ground, breaking her nose.

Taylor dragged her to a secluded spot and raped her, the court heard.

The judge was told how Taylor ‘taunted and belittled’ the woman as he attacked her.

In a statement read to the court, the woman described how she ‘hated and loathed’ the police 20 years ago after they failed to catch her attacker, destroyed her files and lost forensic evidence.

She said in the statement: ‘I was told to get on with my life and forget what happened to me.’

The woman said of Taylor: ‘He is devoid of compassion, exudes evil and respects no-one or nothing but his sick gratification.’

She also said she believes that if the photofit the police developed of her attacker had been put in the Yorkshire Post at the time, Taylor could have been caught.

A fifth woman was raped by Taylor in 1996.

Mr Wood said this woman became so scared ‘she started repeatedly praying out loud to God for help’.