Leeds rape victim turned detective to catch depraved attacker

John Taylor
John Taylor
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A victim of Leeds child killer and rapist John Taylor searched newspaper archives for his photo in a bid to bring him to justice.

Taylor, 62, was already in prison for the abduction and murder of teenager Leanne Tiernan in Bramley in 2000 - but last week was given a whole life term for a string of historic sex attacks spanning four decades. He will never be released.

His victims were both children and adult women - including a seven-year-old girl who was tied to a drainpipe while he assaulted her.
One victim told the court how, after police failed to trace Taylor nearly 30 years ago, she turned detective to identify him as her attacker.

She was in her 20s and cycling to work along Gelderd Road in 1987 when Taylor pulled her off her bike by the neck, smashed her head into the ground, raped her at knifepoint and taunted her.

The woman was told not to scream then dragged onto a footpath. Her nose broken as her face was deliberately struck against the ground.

She was bleeding heavily as she was forced to a grassed area with a knife held to her throat. Taylor used the knife to cut through her belt before raping her.

Leeds Crown Court heard that during the course of the attack he taunted and belittled her, saying she was ugly and no one would want her again.

She was then told to stay where she was for 20 minutes before leaving. He told her not to report the incident to the police or he would "go after her".

Her handbag containing personal documents was also taken. The victim raised the alarm when she got to her workplace.

An investigation and public appeal was launched at the time to catch her attacker.

The woman recognised Taylor in 2016 as she watched an ITV documentary about the murder of Leanne Tiernan called Someone's Daughter, Someone's Son.

She then went to Leeds City Library and searched newspaper archives for reports of the appeal to catch her attacker 29 years previously.

The woman found e-fit pictures which she had provided to the police that had been printed in the Morley Observer.

The court heard she took pictures of the images on her mobile phone before going to police.

In her victim statement she said: "I was constantly looking over my shoulder and worried if I was being watched.

"The impact on my family was immense. My father was distressed and till his dying day he never got over not being able to protect his only daughter.

"No father should ever feel like that."

The statement continued: "I had a hatred and loathing of police as they did not catch the culprit and destroyed my files in the investigation.

"I was told to get on with my life and forget what happened to me."

The woman thanked the detectives in the cold case investigation for"taking a different view" and praised their professionalism for bringing Taylor to justice for the attack upon her.

She added: "He is devoid of compassion. He exudes evil."