John Travolta fantasist to die in jail for rape and murder of teenager

John Travolta fantasist to die in jail for rape and murder of teenager
James Warnock.

A John Travolta fantasist will die behind bars in England for the "cruel and brutal" rape and murder of a teenage girl 34 years ago.

For half a lifetime, self-employed tiler James Warnock, 56, evaded justice for strangling 17-year-old Yiannoulla Yianni in her own home, just half a mile from where he lived in north London.

Police cracked the case by matching his DNA to the crime scene last year, after Warnock was caught by an undercover officer sharing indecent pictures of children on the internet.

The divorced father-of-two, who was still living in the local community, claimed he had a secret affair with Yiannoulla, even though the teenager was brought up in a traditional Greek Cypriot family and never had a boyfriend.

A jury at the Old Bailey took just over two hours to convict Warnock, and Recorder of London Nicholas Hilliard QC jailed him for life with a minimum of 25 years for murder.

The judge said Yiannoulla had endured a "terrifying ordeal" at knifepoint and was killed in a way that was "cruel, brutal and without mercy".

He said: "It is impossible to understand how one human being could do such things to another and in the process you visited misery beyond measure on those whom Yiannoulla was and is so dear and which will never leave them."

Warnock was also sentenced to 20 years for rape and a range of terms of between four years and five months after admitting six counts of distributing indecent images in 2013, all to run concurrently.

Paying tribute to Yiannoulla, the judge told Warnock that the "brightness of her spirit" meant that she would forever be remembered as a "happy and hopeful" teenager and not defined by "the awful things you did to her".

Yiannoulla Yianni.
Yiannoulla Yianni.

The defendant would continue to pose a risk to young women but is likely to die in jail, he said.

Warnock made no reaction as he was sent down.


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