Peterborough: Life For McGrath Killer

5 December 2012, 12:08 | Updated: 5 December 2012, 12:40

A man convicted of murdering a woman in Peterborough 33 years ago has been jailed for life.

The body of 22 year old Sally McGrath was found in woodland in Castor Highlands in 1980.

Yesterday (Tuesday) 60 year old Paul Taylor [pictured - right] from Fareham in Hampshire was found guilty of her murder, along with five attacks on other women around the same time.

Taylor has today (Wednesday) been jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.

During an eight week trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, the jury heard that Miss McGrath was last seen alive at a Peterborough hotel with Paul Taylor in July 1979.

Her body was then discovered in in March 1980.

The sentencing follows a cold case review by Cambridgeshire Police which started in 2010.

Head of the Complex Casework Unit for the Crown Prosecution Service, Chris McCann said: "We are very satisfied with the outcome of the trial. 

This case proves that no matter when a crime is committed, we will always seek to bring the perpetrator to justice, and we are pleased Taylor will now spend a considerable length of time behind bars.

We would like to commend Cambridgeshire Police for their review of the case as well as the witnesses that came forward to assist with the prosecution. 

This has been a challenging case, given the nature of the timescales, but we were confident of a positive outcome, which is especially important for the family and friends of Sally McGrath."

Detective Superintendent Jeff Hill from Cambridgeshire Police, who led the investigation, said: "Thirty-three years ago, a young woman, with her entire life ahead of her, was brutally murdered in Peterborough. 

Paul Taylor, a predatory sex offender, attacked and raped a number of innocent, vulnerable young women and murdered Sally McGrath but today I am relieved to say he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the outstanding courage of so many of the witnesses that gave evidence against Taylor in this trial and in particular those women who were victims of his abhorrent crimes. 

Their fortitude has been humbling and I hope the conviction and today's sentencing allows them to secure closure and move on with their lives.

Additionally, I would like to pay tribute to Sally's family who have retained their optimism and dignity throughout this entire process. I hope that the pain of 30 years will now to some extent start to subside.

The conviction was the result of three years' hard work. 

There was no DNA, CCTV or other single piece of overwhelming evidence, just a solid case built around witness testimony. 

I am extremely proud to have led this enquiry but its success is entirely down to the hard work, dogged determination and belief of a small number of exceptional investigators.

I would like to thank them for their resilience, professionalism and Detective ability.

Lastly, I would like to say that Taylor deserves every second of his imprisonment for the misery he has bought to so many lives. 

I pray that Sally can now rest in peace and hope that the message to anyone who is aware of this investigation is clear – the British police do not forget."