Paul Taylor jailed for life for murder of Sally McGrath

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A man has been jailed for life for the murder of Sally McGrath more than 30 years ago.

Former builder Paul Taylor, 60, was told by Mr Justice Owen at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Wednesday) that he would serve a minimum of 18 years in prison for the murder.

Yesterday he was found guilty of murdering Sally after meeting her at the Peterborough’s Bull Hotel on July 11, 1979.

Sally, 22, was found naked except for a pair of boots and partially buried in woodland at Castor Hanglands, to the west of Peterborough, on March 1, 1980.

It took a jury of eight women and four men more than 22 hours to convict Taylor of her murder following an eight-week trial.

Taylor, of Valentine Close, Fareham, Hampshire, was also found guilty of a number of serious sexual offences.

He was given separate 16-year sentences for two counts of rape and a serious sexual assault on a 20-year-old woman; 14 years for the rape of a 17-year-old girl and nine years for the attempted rape of a 24-year-old woman.

The sexual offences took place in villages between Stamford and Peterborough. All the offences happened in 1979.

All the sentences will run concurrent to one another and concurrent to the 18-year minimum for murder.

An investigation, the largest in Cambridgeshire Police’s history at the time, was launched following the discovery of Sally’s body but charges were never brought.

However, a cold case investigation called Operation Highfields was launched three years ago and in November 2010 Taylor was arrested at his Hampshire home and brought to Cambridgeshire. He was charged with Sally’s murder and a number of other sexual offences in October last year.