Whole life tariff for child killer and his 20 year campaign of sexual violence

A convicted child murderer has been told he will die in prison by a judge who described his “20-year campaign of rape and sexual assaults against children and women, fuelled by a sadistic desire to inflict pain for sexual gratification”.

John Taylor, 62, was serving a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 30 years following his abduction and murder of 16-year-old Leanne Tiernan in Leeds in 2000.

On Friday, Judge Robin Mairs listened to two hours of shocking details of other “vile, sadistic attacks” on five women and children committed by Taylor between 1977 and 1996, including one on a terrified seven-year-old girl and another which was witnessed by his pregnant victim’s three small children.

Taylor, who admitted a range of offences including multiple rapes at an earlier hearing, showed no emotion as Judge Mairs said he had no choice but to impose a life sentence with a whole life tariff, telling him there is “no doubt that you must be kept in prison for the rest of your life”.

Taylor appeared by video-link at Leeds Crown Court from Wakefield Prison, wearing a grey open-neck shirt and sporting greying hair.

The judge said Taylor’s offending included “vile, sadistic attacks on women and small children marked by ferocity and callousness”.

Judge Mairs heard how many of Taylor’s victims harboured feelings of guilt and anger about the murder of Leanne, wondering if she would be alive today if their case had been solved or if they had reported it earlier.

The court heard one victim said: “When I heard about Leanne Tiernan I felt guilty. I wondered what if I had reported sooner what Taylor did to me.”

Judge Mairs heard how one woman was seven years old when she was grabbed by Taylor in 1984, carried to a church yard and tied to a drain pipe before she was repeatedly sexually assaulted.

He later taunted her outside her home.

Judge Mairs said: “The trauma, fear and nightmares that would have engendered in that child are beyond comprehension.”

He said: “There’s a chilling echo to be found in what happened to (that girl) and what happened to Leanne Tiernan.”

Prosecutor Stephen Wood said that in 1982, Taylor held a knife to the throat of a 27-year-old woman who was walking with her son and daughters, who were all aged under eight, and demanded that she perform a sex act on him.

Taylor fled after her daughters, who feared they were about to see their mother murdered, screamed.

Another woman raped by Taylor explained how she felt “hatred and loathing” for police 20 years ago when she was told “to get on with my life and forget what happened to me”.

Mr Wood told the judge: “All these offences demonstrate the defendant’s long standing, violent and sadistic proclivities towards vulnerable women and female children.

“He became ever more emboldened over time before finally committing the murder of Leanne Tiernan.”

Leanne was snatched by Taylor in November 2000 and subjected to sexual assaults before he killed her.

Her body was found in woodland eight months later.

Police later discovered the body had been kept for some time in Taylor’s freezer at his home in the Bramley area of Leeds, where he was nicknamed The Pet Man.

The court heard how this was partly down to Taylor wanting to keep a trophy.

Taylor was jailed for life in 2002 with a minimum tariff of 25 years but this was later reduced to 20 years.

A year later, he was convicted of two further masked knifepoint rapes dating back to 1988 and 1989 and his minimum term was increased to 30 years.

Taylor’s decades of offending was pieced together following a cold case review called Operation Quayside, which involved West Yorkshire Police, the National Crime Agency and forensic services.

Speaking outside court, Detective Superintendent Jim Dunkerley, of West Yorkshire Police, described Taylor as a “monster”.

When asked whether there might be further victims of the murderer, he added: “John Taylor, as we have seen today, would be described as a monster. He has committed horrendous acts.

“I will continue to review all the undetected cases that we have, and John Taylor may feature in there, but I have to say that I have to look at it objectively and look at other offenders who may be within that case lodge.”

 

Royal Met Cop Avoids Jail After Posing Online As 17 year Old Girl

adam-coxA shamed royal police officer has avoided jail after he stole a dead woman’s pictures to pose online as a 17-year-old girl “for kicks”.

Pc Adam Cox, 31, was working in Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection when he created an alter ego called Emily Whitehouse to exchange explicit chat with three men online.

After being asked to send them revealing photographs, Cox found indecent images online of a Canadian woman who committed suicide at the age of 21 and passed them off as “Emily”.

Police investigating the online chat raided his home last year, and uncovered a stash of 1,691 indecent and extreme images, with one featuring an infant and others showing children as young as seven.

He told police: “I’m not hoarding images. I have never meant to hurt anyone. I’m not a collector. I’ve not got a secret stash.”

On his Emily persona, Cox said: “It’s me. It’s not me. It’s madness, a way of escaping reality.”

Cox, from Windsor in Berkshire, pleaded guilty to four counts of possession of indecent images – 645 of the most serious category A pictures, 201 category B, 449 category C, and 396 extreme pornographic images of bestiality.

He denied encouraging three men to attempt to get indecent images from “Emily” and the charges were ordered to lie on file.

The Old Bailey heard it was impossible for police to establish if the dead woman in the Emily pictures was 16, 17 or 18 when they were taken.

Judge Mark Dennis QC sentenced Cox to 20 months inprison suspended for two years and 250 hours of unpaid work.

He said: “It should be a matter of enduring shame on his part that he engaged in this offending with complete disregard for his oath and responsibility as a serving police officer.”

Judge Dennis said Cox had pretended to be a teenage girl “for kicks”, adding it was “troubling” that he had yet to come to terms with what it was all about.

Prosecutor Charles Falk said Cox had been working for the Metropolitan Police with responsibility for the security of embassies, Parliament and the royal family.

Mitigating, Nick Yeo said: “He is a man who finds it extremely difficult to articulate his motivation and one can quite understand that because the context is extremely unusual conduct, one might think.”

Cox was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order and sacked following a misconduct review by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS).

Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said: “It is particularly sad and unacceptable that an officer in Pc Cox’s trusted position would behave in such a discreditable way.

“He was in possession of a very large number of images of young children. Any conviction is discreditable, one of this nature where the behaviour has meant the abuse of the vulnerable is deeply so.

“Dismissal without notice is the appropriate sanction in these circumstances.”

Co-defendants Harry Gibbs, 32, of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, Andrew Monk, 39, of Kettering, Northamptonshire, and Ajai Shridhar, 46, of Ealing, west London, admitted attempting to possess indecent images of children and were each handed a 12-month community order.

Over two months in spring 2016, Monk pestered “Emily” for pictures, particularly ones of her wearing high-heeled shoes. He posed sexually explicit questions, such as: “Are you a moaner or a screamer?”

Supply teacher Gibbs’ chat logs with “Emily” went on between July and September 2015. Even though he believed she was under 18, he tried to set her up on the “Chaturbate” – chat and masturbate – website, the court heard.

He told her she had “real model quality” and advised her that sex was “always big business”.

Shridhar asked “Emily” for photos to “cheer” him up as he chatted with her on Skype in February and March last year.

He told her: “Naughty of me to ask, but have you got any pics where you have to wear your school uniform?”

An NSPCC spokesman said: “Behind every indecent image is a child who has been subjected to the most horrific acts in order for this vile material to be produced.

“As a police officer, Cox would have known that by possessing these awful images he has helped to fuel an industry which feeds off children’s suffering.

“To tackle this growing problem, the NSPCC is calling on tech companies, government and law enforcement agencies to ensure this type of content is taken down quickly when it does appear online but most importantly that it can’t be published in the first instance.”

Max Clifford to appear in court

Jimmy_max_and_garyMax Clifford is to appear in court charged with one count of indecent assault.

The former publicist, who is accused of committing the offence in 1981, will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Baljit Ubhey, chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said earlier this month when news of the charge was announced: “We have carefully considered the evidence gathered as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to Max Clifford, who was arrested at Littlehey Prison on March 12.

“Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Clifford to be charged with one offence of indecent assault.”

Scotland Yard said Clifford was charged with indecent assault on a woman aged over 16.

Clifford represented some of the biggest names in show business – including pop mogul Simon Cowell, reality TV star Jade Goody and boxer Muhammad Ali – in a career that spanned more than 40 years.

He became famous for brokering deals with the tabloids for kiss and tell stories and was behind the tale that spawned the infamous headline Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster.

Head teacher jailed for 8 years

Anne-LakeA nationally-acclaimed headteacher has been jailed for eight years after she was convicted of taking two underage boys’ virginity in the 1980s.

Anne Lakey, 55, from Stanley, County Durham, was once hailed as a visionary for turning around a failing school and making it one of the most improved in the country.

But a jury at Teesside Crown Court convicted her yesterday of 13 counts of indecent assault on a boy aged 13 or 14 and one aged 15 after deciding that her professional persona hid a sordid past.

At today’s sentencing hearing, Caroline Goodwin, prosecuting, said Lakey’s offending was a “gross breach of trust”.

She read statements from both victims about what had happened to them.

The younger man said: “As a kid I thought it was great what was happening, but now I see it for what it was – wrong.”

The other said: “I realise I was a victim of sexual exploitation and I feel a sense of shame that I allowed myself to be in that position.”

Lakey has been suspended from her role as chief executive of the Durham Federation, in charge of two secondary schools, since the younger complainant sent an accusing email in December 2012.

She was a national leader in education, lauded for improving pupils’ exam performance.

She oversaw a huge change at Fyndoune Community College in Sacriston, which had been failing. It went on to be rated as “outstanding”.

She was named in a Department for Education pamphlet as a “visionary leader” and described as “inspiring” by Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of education.

But her achievements would be overshadowed by the historic abuse she committed in the late 1980s.

While she was married to her second of three husbands, she groomed the younger victim and he was encouraged to expose her breasts during a dare game at her home.

She let him watch her bathe, then took his virginity on the marital bed while he was still in his school uniform.

Lakey phoned his school when he was truanting, pretended to be his mother and said he was sick. She also encouraged him to call her “mommy”.

Meanwhile, she also took the older boy’s virginity in her tent at a camp in the middle of the night after she encouraged him to sneak over.

Lakey, a history and RE teacher in Sunderland at the time of the allegations, went on to have repeated sexual relations with both boys.

She tearfully denied all the allegations but admitted having a legal, sexual relationship with the older complainant when he was 18 and she was in her early 30s.

Lakey rose up the career ladder before taking on the chief executive role, but was exposed by the younger victim’s late night email, which branded her a “disgusting sexual monster”.

Its author was furious after he spotted a blog in which she said her “raison d’etre” was to help young people.

He named the second complainant who was to later tell police he too had been abused.

In the witness box he described how the sexual exploitation by an older woman left him confused.

“On the one hand, I was happy with my little self that I managed to lose my virginity before I was 16, which seemed really important at the time,” he said.

“On the other hand, everything was over so quickly. It should have been a bit more interesting than that.”

When the police began investigating the younger complainant’s email, Lakey rang him out of the blue to try and persuade him to lie to detectives.

He recalled: “The delivery was like A Level psychology 101. There was the initial ‘My poor father, lost my mother’ – a trump card to play.

“There was ‘my career, my daughter, my husband. I’ve definitely not had sex with any other children since’ was mentioned early on.

“It was laid on thick, emotionally at the start, towards the end there was flattery alongside that.”

Ms Goodwin asked how he felt about what happened to him.

“The phone call really summed up the whole thing,” he said.

“Here is somebody who has not spoken to me for 20 years who thought she could get me to pick up the phone and lie to the police, 20 years after.

“If that doesn’t give you an idea of the control she had over us lads, I don’t know what would.”

Rolf Harris stripped of honours

RolfHarris

Rolf Harris has been stripped of his Australian honours following his conviction for sexually assaulting four British girls.

The disgraced television star, artist and songwriter was found guilty last year of indecently assaulting the girls, who included the childhood best friend of his daughter Bindi, between 1969 and 1986.

The decision to take back his honours was gazetted by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Australia.

“It is notified for general information that the Governor-General has terminated the appointments of Officer and Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division, made to Mr. Rolf Harris,” the notice said.

Harris was found guilty of 12 assaults against the four girls, who included an eight-year-old autograph hunter. He was jailed for five years and nine months.

“You have shown no remorse for your crimes at all,” Nigel Sweeney, the trial judge said as he handed down his sentence.

Seven of the 12 counts related to Bindi’s friend, including one incident when she was 15 where he seriously sexually assaulted her while his daughter slept in the adjacent bed.

Harris was the second person to be convicted under a wide-ranging police investigation set up in the wake of revelations that the late Jimmy Savile, a fellow major BBC star, was a prolific abuser.

His case caused widespread revulsion in Britain, where his television programmes were watched by millions of children, and in his homeland.

Harris is also a CBE and even painted the Queen’s portrait to mark her 80th birthday. Harris was again questioned by police regarding sex offence allegations earlier this month.

Rotherham – damning report published

Welcome-to-Rotherham

A criminal investigation is to be started after a damning new report into Rotherham’s child sexual exploitation prompted the replacement of its entire political leadership with Government commissioners.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles announced the measures to replace the council’s “wholly dysfunctional” political leadership just moments after the authority’s entire cabinet announced its intention to resign in the wake of the Louise Casey inspection report.

At the same time, the National Crime Agency (NCA) said its ongoing investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham was to be extended in the light of Miss Casey’s findings.

The NCA said it will ” examine a number of potentially criminal matters identified during a recent inspection of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council”.

Council not fit for purpose

Umar-Razaq

A damning new report into the failings at Rotherham Council commissioned following the child sexual exploitation scandal that engulfed the town has concluded that the authority is “not fit for purpose”.

Louise Casey was asked by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to inspect the council following the Jay Report last year which found that more than 1,400 children had been subjected to rape, violence and trafficking by gangs of mainly Asian men in the South Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013.

Today, in her inspection report, Ms Casey said: “This inspection revealed past and present failures to accept, understand and combat the issue of child sexual exploitation (CSE), resulting in a lack of support for victims and insufficient action against known perpetrators.

“The council’s culture is unhealthy: bullying, sexism, suppression and misplaced ‘political correctness’ have cemented its failures. The council is currently incapable of tackling its weaknesses, without a sustained intervention.”

Mr Pickles is due to make a statement to the Commons later.

May to name new Chair of Child Abuse Inquiry

Theresa-May

Theresa May is expected to announce the new chair of the troubled child abuse inquiry following the resignations of two previous holders of the post.

The Home Secretary has also been considering the format of the inquiry, which could potentially involve scrapping the existing panel and replacing it with a more powerful body.

The new appointment follows the loss of two former chairwomen, who stood down over perceived conflicts of interest.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Home Secretary has been having a series of meetings with survivors of child abuse right up to this point. She is going to make an announcement today.”

The first person appointed to lead the inquiry was Baroness Butler-Sloss, who stood down as chairwoman in July last year amid questions over the role played by her late brother, Lord Havers, who was attorney general in the 1980s.

Her replacement Dame Fiona Woolf resigned following a barrage of criticism over her “Establishment links”, most notably in relation to former home secretary Leon Brittan, who died last month.

Mrs May, who set up the inquiry to consider whether public bodies had neglected or covered up allegations of child sex abuse following claims paedophiles had operated in Westminster in the 1980s, is also due to set out how it will proceed.

A fresh statutory inquiry or a Royal Commission could be set up to continue the work.

Alison Millar, from the law firm Leigh Day, which is representing dozens of abuse victims, said the inquiry had been a “shambles”.

Asked what she wanted to see happen, she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Obviously, rebooting this inquiry so that it has a new head in terms of the chair and so it is reconstituted with statutory powers, I think that’s very important.

“There is, as far as I can tell, almost unanimous agreement that an inquiry of this nature requires the power to compel witnesses to attend and to require the production of documents.

“I think terms of reference and a structure that engages much better with abuse survivors and gives them the confidence that this inquiry will listen to them and learn from them.”

She added: “The people I represent have really been waiting a lifetime for an inquiry like this but have become increasingly sceptical that this inquiry is going to get to the fundamental truth given the shambles there has been in the over 200 days since it first set up.”

Ms Millar suggested a Royal Commission could be the way forward: “That is the scale of the problem and if we are going to do this we have got to do this properly.”

Former children’s minister Tim Loughton said the situation had become a “mess” but the inquiry had to happen.

The Tory MP told Today: “We have just got to park on one side that this could have been handled a lot better, the way it was established could have been rather more transparent.

“I think nobody should doubt the Home Secretary’s absolute sincerity and commitment that we should get to the bottom of what is a very long, complicated, historical sex abuse story.”

He added: “People’s confidence has been completely knocked because of this constant tsunami of historic cases coming out.

“We need to get to the bottom of it, we need to see where it went wrong, how society appears to have covered up, is that cover-up still happening in certain places, are people responsible for that cover-up still in places of responsibility and, ultimately, now we must be assured that we have a child protection system… that is fit for purpose.

“That’s why we need an over-arching inquiry on top of all these different reviews and prosecutions going on, which must continue to go on, and we have got to get this back on track.”

Clifford loses sentence challenge

Jimmy_max_and_gary

Disgraced PR guru Max Clifford has lost a challenge against his eight-year jail sentence for sex offences.

The sentence was upheld by three Court of Appeal judges in London today.

Clifford, 71, was jailed in May after being convicted of a string of indecent assaults, carried out between 1977 and 1984, using his celebrity connections to lure women.

The former celebrity agent, who branded his accusers “fantasists”, denied the charges, but was convicted at London’s Southwark Crown Court.

Announcing the appeal court’s decision, Lord Justice Treacy, who heard the case with Mr Justice Turner and Judge Michael Pert, said the sentence was “justified”.

At a recent appeal hearing, Clifford’s barrister Richard Horwell QC told the three judges that Clifford’s last offence was committed 29 years ago, “since when he has led an industrious life, and devoted a considerable part of his time to charitable works for which he has raised substantial funds”.

The trial judge had “accepted that he is no longer a danger to women and that he will not commit further offences”.

Mr Horwell said that for a number of reasons the sentence imposed was “too long”, adding: “Although the sentencing process must reflect modern attitudes, and I fully accept that that is our law, the sentencing process must not abandon common sense and fairness.”

Rosina Cottage QC, for the Crown, said the total sentence imposed was one the trial judge was “entitled to reach”.

When sentencing Clifford, Judge Anthony Leonard told him his personality and position in the public eye were the reasons his crimes were not revealed earlier.

He said: “The reason why they were not brought to light sooner was because of your own dominant character and your position in the world of entertainment which meant that your victims thought that you were untouchable, something that I think you too believed.”

He added: “These offences may have taken place a long time ago, when inappropriate and trivial sexual behaviour was more likely to be tolerated, but your offending was not trivial, but of a very serious nature.”

Clifford is currently serving his sentence at Littlehey Category C men’s prison in Cambridgeshire.

Announcing the court’s decision today, Lord Justice Treacy said: “It seems to us that, after consideration of the individual offences and the application of modern sentencing attitudes reflected in the guidelines, but tempered by the need to have regard to the statutory maximum available at the time, an overall sentence of eight years was justified and correct.”

It was a “just and proportionate” sentence “taking account of considerations of harm and culpability together with aggravating factors and such mitigation as was available to the appellant”.

Lord Justice Treacy said Clifford was sentenced to a total of eight years on eight counts of indecent assault relating to four victims who were “young and vulnerable” at the time of the offences.

He said: “Each was affected in respect of confidence and relationships and was harmed by what had been done to her.”

In considering the seriousness of any offence the court “must consider the offender’s culpability and any harm which the offence caused”.

The judge said: “Sexual offending will by its very nature cause harm at the time the offence is committed, but it is well recognised that for many victims significant harm persists for a considerable period afterwards.

“This is a case where it is clear that the effect of what was done to the victims was not something from which they recovered quickly.

“The appellant’s actions towards these victims had long term consequences for their lives. This is clearly a highly material circumstance for this court to consider.”

Sleazy Clifford Defiant Outside Court

Clifford outside court before sentencing
Clifford outside court before sentencing

Celebrity publicist Max Clifford was defiant outside court today as he arrived to be sentenced for indecent assaults on young women. Impact statements revealing how Max Clifford’s abuse changed the lives of his victims have been heard in court.
One said she abandoned her career plans, while another said he took away her trust in men.
On Monday, the celebrity publicist became the first person convicted under Operation Yewtree for eight indecent assaults on four young women and girls.
Clifford, 71, is due to be sentenced later. His defence has called on the judge not to make an example of him.
The assaults took place in the 1970s and 80s, on victims aged between 15 and 18 at the time.
Arriving at court earlier, the PR man told reporters he stood by the account he had given since his arrest in December 2012.
Pausing for photographers outside Southwark Crown Court, he said: “I stand by everything I have said in the last 17 months.”
BBC News correspondent Richard Lister said Clifford was “entirely unrepentant” and “seems to think he did nothing wrong”.
During his trial Clifford accused his victims of being “fantasists” and “opportunists” looking for money.
In statements read out by the prosecution on Friday, one victim – who was 15 at the time – revealed how she had missed out on having her first sexual relationship with someone her own age because of what Clifford did.
Another said she would cry whenever she saw him on television following the assault and feared the police would laugh at her when she finally came forward.
Prosecuting barrister Rosina Cottage QC said one of the women felt she had “lost the last 20 years” of her life.
A woman who appeared as an extra in the James Bond film Octopussy had given up on pursuing her career after she was abused in the early 1980s, the court heard.
“She aspired to be a stunt double in films but could not follow her dream after what happened to her,” Ms Cottage told the court.
Judge Anthony Leonard explained that if the offences had been committed after 2003, the starting point for sentencing would have been 10 years in prison.
“My sentencing powers are restricted. The maximum sentence available at the time was two years in prison,” he told the court.
Clifford’s defence team argued that the fact the last assault had taken place 29 years ago was a “powerful factor in his favour”.
He had had plenty of contact with young women and girls in the intervening years and there had “never been any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour”, his barrister Richard Horwell QC told the court.
Mr Horwell said his client should not “be made an example following a number of failed prosecutions” – an apparent reference to recent high-profile cases in which celebrities have been cleared of historic abuse claims.
The defence also pointed to Clifford’s charity work – something he sought to highlight during the trial – saying he had raised “possibly millions” for deserving causes.
After the case was adjourned ahead of sentencing at 14:00 BST, Clifford waved to supporters who waved back and blew kisses.
Prosecutors told the court they would not pursue the charge on which the jury had failed to reach a verdict.
They have applied for Clifford to pay costs of £66,704.