Sadist sex killer who murdered Leeds teenager admits more historic rape and violence offences
Child killer John Taylor – the man who abducted and murdered Leeds teenager Leanne Tiernan – has today admitted a series sexual and violent assaults.
Taylor appeared before Leeds Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to 16 offences – included three of rape – committed against victims in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
The 62-year-old is serving a life sentence for murdering schoolgirl Leanne Tiernan in November 2000.
Leanne was grabbed from a woodland path in Bramley then sexually assaulted by Taylor before he killed her at his home.
Taylor then stored the corpse in a freezer at his home in Cockshott Drive, Bramley, as a “trophy”.
Taylor appeared in court via a videolink from Wakefield Prison. He spoke only to confirm his name and enter pleas to the charges as they were put to him by the court clerk.
Taylor pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, two other serious sexual offences, two of possessing an offensive weapon, four of indecent assault, kidnapping, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and unlawful wounding.
Taylor entered guilty pleas to a further count of rape and having an offensive weapon at a hearing on June 6.
The offences relate to attacks on five female victims between December 1977 and August 1996.
They include the rape of a woman in the Armley area of Leeds in 1977.
Taylor also admitted indecently assaulting a woman in Bramley Fall woods and putting a knife to her throat.
He pleaded guilty to kidnapping and indecent assault offences against a victim in Armley in 1984. Taylor entered guilty pleas to a sexual offence and two offences of violence against a woman in Gildersome in 1987.
He further admitted to two rape offences and an indecent assault offence against a victim in Bramley in 1996.
Prosecutor Stephen Wood asked for the case to be adjourned so victim statements can be obtained ahead of sentencing.
Mr Wood said it may be that some of the victims wish to attend court to see Taylor sentenced.
The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Guy Kearl, QC, adjourned the case until Friday October 26.
Leanne Tiernan was just 16-years-old when she was kidnapped and murdered by sadistic sex killer John Taylor nearly 18 years ago.
The exact circumstances of what happened after her death remain a mystery.
Taylor, at the time a 44-year-old divorcee, is believed to have stashed her body in a freezer in his home for nine months before dumping her body in Lindley Woods, near Otley Leanne was walking along an unlit wooded path, Houghley Hill, in Bramley, on the evening of November 26, 2000, when Taylor seized her and forced her back to his home, tying her hands behind her back and blindfolding her.
Leanne’s disappearance sparked one of the largest manhunts in West Yorkshire Police’s history. More than 10,000 homes were visited by officers and 40 drains were searched.
The teenager’s body was not discovered until August of the following year, buried in a shallow grave.
Her hands were tied and a knotted scarf and a plastic cable were wound tightly around her neck. Taylor was said to have kept the body in his freezer after the killing – partly to avoid detection, and partly as a “trophy”.
Taylor admitted the brutal murder of Tiernan at Leeds Crown Court in July 2002.
Detectives continued to investigate Taylor after his conviction for the murder of Leanne and later charged him with two rapes – to which he pleaded guilty.
He carried out those sex attacks in Leeds in 1988 and 1989. A judge ordered Taylor to serve a minimum of 25 years over Leanne’s death at his sentencing in 2002.
The minimum tariff was then upped to 30 years at the Royal Courts of Justice in 2006. The new ruling means it will be 2031 before Taylor can even request his freedom.
Even then, he will only be released if he persuades the Parole Board he poses no further threat to the public. Mr Justice Openshaw took the highly unusual step of increasing Taylor’s tariff due to his later convictions for the two rapes.
He said “This was a planned and sadistic murder of a child, aggravated by the element of abduction and sexual assault. The victim must have suffered terribly. “Even in cases of this gravity, I am required to consider whether credit should be given for a plea of guilty.
“There is no mitigation whatsoever either in the facts of the offence or in Taylor’s personal circumstances. “It is true that he has made some progress in prison but, set against the magnitude of his offending, this – frankly – counts for nothing.”
On the evening of 26 November 2000, Leeds teenager Leanne Tiernan, 16, was on her way home when she disappeared. Studying for her GCSEs, Tiernan had been shopping for Christmas gifts in the city with her friend, Sarah Whitehouse. The girls had shared a bus ride into the suburb of Bramley and parted near Whitehouse’s home. Tiernan then continued alone towards her own home but never arrived