Leeds child killer John Taylor tied seven-year-old girl to church drainpipe before depraved sex assault

John Taylor
John Taylor

Child killer John Taylor tied a seven-year-old girl to a drain pipe at the back of a church before subjecting her to a depraved sex assault.

A court heard today how the 62-year-old convicted murder also carried out violent and humiliating sex offences against four other women over a 20-year-old period leading up to the murder of Leanne Tiernan.

Leeds Crown Court heard today the full extent of his sadistic offending which included raping a 19-year-old woman after dragging her into bushes as she walked to work in Horforth on December 22 1977.
The victim was blindfolded before Taylor made threats to kill her and told her he knew where she lived.

In 1982 he held a knife to the throat of a mum-of-three as she was out walking with her children in Bramley Fall Woods.

Taylor ordered the woman to perform a sex act on him in front of her children but the victim pleaded with him not to make her do it.

He fled when her eldest child began screaming.

Taylor grabbed a seven-year-old girl from the street in Stanningley in 1984 as she went on a shopping errand to buy a loaf of bread for her mum and dad.
The victim remembers how Taylor - known to people at 'Pet Man John' - asked the girl to help him look for her dog before abducting her.

She was then tethered to a drain pipe in the dark behind a church and subjected to a sex attack lasting around two hours.

Taylor targeted a 26-year-old woman as she cycled to work along Gelderd Road, Gildersome in July 1987.

He broke her nose by smashing her face into the pavement and raped her at knifepoint near a footpath.

The victim was taunted and belittled by Taylor who told her she was "ugly" and "no one would want her again."

Taylor also went on to subject another woman to a violent rape in 1996. She was bitten during the attack.

Prosecutor Stephen Wood: "These offence demonstrate, the prosecution submits, the defendant's long-standing violent and sadistic predilection towards vulnerable woman and female children.

"The defendant became more emboldened over time before committing the murder of Leanne Tiernan."

The court heard victim statements from the women who described suffering years of anguish.

They also expressed feeling guilty that Taylor was not brought to justice before he had the opportunity to murder Leanne.

The victim of the 1977 attack said: "When evil touches you there is no way back to who you were.

"Believe me I have tried so many times."

Describing the affect of the offences upon her she said: It is like a cancer.

"It is aggressive.

"It eats away at you, your mind, your body, your soul, your very being.

"That is what rape is."

Another victim said: "I always a remember a comment from Leanne's mum who said 'if he had been caught earlier I would still have my daughter."

Taylor 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 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".

The defendant appeared on screen in court today via a video link from Leeds Crown Court.

His lawyer Riachrd Reed said there go be no mitigation for "despicable offences" other than his guilty pleas.

Taylor is due to be sentenced at 2.20pm.