Man jailed for life for 1982 rape and murder of teenage girl

James Warnock: Caught sharing child pornography online.

A man will die behind bars for the “cruel and brutal” rape and murder of a teenage girl 34 years ago.

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 Ms Yianni, even though the teenager was brought up in a traditional Greek Cypriot family and had 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 Ms Yianni had endured a “terrifying ordeal” at knifepoint and was killed in a way that was “cruel, brutal and without mercy”.

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.

Warnock made no reaction as he was sent down.

The murder had shocked the nation and led to high-profile police appeals, with detectives travelling as far afield as Australia in their search for the killer.

Her brothers and sister, who had sat through the distressing trial, broke down in tears as they finally saw Ms Yianni’s killer brought to justice.


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