Leeds child killer carried out knifepoint attack on pregnant mum in front of her children

Leeds child killer John Taylor has been jailed for a whole life sentence for a string of historic sex offences.

John Taylor was handed a whole life sentence at Leeds Crown Court

The second victim in the latest court case involving John Taylor, for which he was sentenced on Friday, took place in Bramley Fall Woods, September 23, 1982.

Taylor tried to force a pregnant woman in her twenties to perform a sex act on him in front of her three children.

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The married victim was out walking with her children at the beauty spot close to the River Aire and Leeds-Liverpool canal when Taylor approached her and asked her if she had seen the lock keeper.

John Taylor was handed a whole life sentence at Leeds Crown Court

She began to feel uneasy and shouted to her children to hurry up.

Taylor, then aged 26, held a kitchen knife to her throat before ordering her to carry out the sex act.

The court heard the woman showed "astonishing resilience and calm".

Mr Wood said: "She looked into his eyes and told him she had three children and was pregnant and asked the defendant what affect this would have on her children.

"(The eldest child) thought the man would cut her mother's throat and would kill her and was understandably petrified."

The child screamed and Taylor ran off.

The woman reported the incident to police at the time and helped compile a e-fit at Millgarth police station.

A public appeal was launched but her attacker was never identified.

The victim contacted police in 2003 after recognising Taylor's picture on TV when she was watching a programme about the murder of Leanne Tiernan.

Mr Wood said: "She immediately recognised him as being her attacker in 1982.

"At the same time her daughter was watching the same programme and she recognised him and rang her mother immediately."

No further progress was made until the woman was contacted by police in 2016.

Mother and daughter both picked out Taylor at an identification procedure.

In her victim statement the woman said: "The fact that I can remember so many details from that day really shows the impact it had on me.

"The worst thing is that it took place in front of my three young children.

"The fact that it took place in front of my three young children makes it more callous.

"I always felt having looked into his eyes that he would go on to commit more crimes."

Judge Robin Mairs said: "This was done in front of her children and I am satisfied you gained some sexual gratification from that despicable callousness."