Leeds child killer blindfolded and tied teenager's hands before raping her at Christmas

John Taylor was given a whole life sentence at Leeds Crown Court
John Taylor was given a whole life sentence at Leeds Crown Court
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Leeds child killer John Taylor has been jailed for a whole life sentence for a string of historic sex offences.

The first victim in the latest court case involving John Taylor, for which he was sentenced on Friday, took place in Armley on December 22, 1977.

Taylor dragged the 19-year-old victim off the street before raping her at knifepoint in a secluded area three days before Christmas.

The young woman was walking to work at 7.15pm when Taylor, then aged 21, came up behind her near to Nuncroft Mount and put his hand over her mouth.

A knife was held to her throat and she was told to "shut up" as she tried to scream.

Taylor, who smelt of alcohol, forced her to go to behind some bushes then ordered her to strip and lie on the floor.

He bound her hands together and told her to do as she was told or he would kill her.

She was blindfolded and something was placed in her mouth before the sex attack.

Afterwards Taylor put the knife to her throat and told her to stay where she was for 20 minutes.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood said: "He said he would kill her and knew where she lived and if she moved he would follow her."

"She was fearful of going home and made her way to the nearest phone box."

-> John Taylor given whole life sentence for string of violent sex offences
Forensic evidence was taken at the time and finally linked to Taylor in 2016 after the police cold case review.

The prosecutor said the chances of DNA belonging to someone else other than Taylor was a billion to one.

In her victim statement, the woman said: "I was 19 years old, full of life, full of fun and happy.

"Although I did not know it my life as I knew it was about to change for ever.

"For nearly 41 years I have loathed my attacker.

"A feckless man who did this to me and nearly destroyed who I was.

"For nearly 41 years I have loathed Christmas and had to pretend to be happy.

"For 41 years I have cried.

"When evil touches you there is no way back to who you were.

"Believe me I have tried so many times.

"It did that day and I am not the person I was."

The woman described how she went on to suffer from depression, anorexia and mental illness in the years after the attack.

She said: "It is like a cancer.

"It is aggressive. It eats away at you. You mind, your body and your soul - your very being."

"That is what rape is."

"He has not taken any responsibility for his evil actions other than to utter the simple word guilty.

"He hasn't a backbone.

"He hasn't learned any lessons. He has offered no mitigating circumstances or shown remorse."