Peterborough: Man Guilty Of McGrath Murder

4 December 2012, 16:35 | Updated: 4 December 2012, 17:20

A man has been found guilty of murdering a Peterborough woman more than 30 years ago.

The body of 22 year old Sally McGrath [pictured - right] was found in woodland in Peterborough in 1979.

Her killer could not be found despite a major police investigation. 

Former soldier and builder Paul Taylor, 60, originally from Peterborough and now of Valentine Close, Fareham, Hampshire, was arrested last year following a cold case review. 

Today (Tuesday), at Chelmsford Crown Court, a jury found him guilty of murder following 23 hours of deliberation. 

He was also found guilty of three counts of rape, one attempted rape and a serious sexual assault, which were all committed in the months leading up to Miss McGrath's murder.

Mr Justice Owen told Taylor: "You have finally been brought to justice and you will now serve life in prison.'' 

He commended Cambridgeshire Police detectives for solving the mystery, which officers at the time had failed to bring to court despite the force's biggest pre-Soham investigation. 

Taylor will be sentenced tomorrow morning (Wednesday). 

Cambridgeshire Police said it would now investigate possible further sex attacks committed by Taylor during the years he escaped justice.

A statement was read outside court on behalf of Miss McGrath's parents, Christine and Joe, and the rest of the family. 

Paul Taylor

It said: "We would like to express our thanks to Detective Superintendent Jeff Hill and all of the current members of his cold case team for their hard work, dedication and professionalism.'' 

Speaking after the verdict, Detective Superintendent Jeff Hill from Cambridgeshire Police described Taylor as a ``predatory sex offender'' who brutally murdered a young woman with ``her entire life ahead of her''. 

He said: "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 the last 30 years will now, to some extent, start to subside. 

I would like to say that Taylor deserves every second of his imprisonment for the misery he has brought 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.''