Leanne murdered for 'sexual kicks'

A parcel delivery worker abducted and then strangled a 16-year-old girl he had never met for his own "sexual gratification", a court heard today.

Leeds Crown Court was told how John Taylor, 46, grabbed Leanne Tiernan on an unlit path called Houghley Gill, near her home in Bramley, Leeds, on November 26, 2000.

Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, told the court how her body was later discovered in woods some distance from her home in August last year but experts said she could not have been buried for all the time since her disappearance.

Mr Smith said after Taylor had grabbed Leanne he strangled her at his home in Cockshott Drive, Bramley, and then stored her body there for between three weeks and nine months.

"At that place (Houghley Gill) he confronted Leanne Tiernan, stifled her after she'd emitted one scream and compelled her to go to his home.

"There he bound her hands behind her back and deliberately strangled her using ligatures."

Mr Smith told the court there was evidence Taylor took sexual pleasure from tying up women in this way and had even shown interest in doing similar things with a young girl after Leanne's death.

Mr Smith said: "His conduct bore distinct similarities with sexual activity he had engaged in and expressed interest in with female companions.

"There's evidence that he also may have engaged in some sexual activity with Leanne Tiernan."

Mr Smith said the evidence included his interest in these kinds of sexual practices, the absence of Leanne's boots and jacket which have still not been found, the position of her underclothes and the presence of his pubic hairs found at the scene.

"Given the condition of Leanne Tiernan's body when examined it is impossible to say whether or not she had actually been sexually interfered with."

But Mr Smith added: "The motive for killing her was for the purpose of sexual gratification."

He said the prosecution had come to this conclusion given the absence of "any alternative, realistic alternative".

Mr Smith added: "Having strangled her within his own home, John Taylor kept her body at his home for a period of at least three weeks and on one

view of the evidence for nine months."

Earlier today, Taylor, who sat in the dock wearing a blue sweatshirt over a white shirt, admitted murdering Leanne.

He admitted kidnapping her at an earlier hearing.

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