Hampshire man accused of murdering young woman 30 years ago will not give evidence

Daily Echo: Hampshire man accused of murdering young woman 30 years ago will not give evidence Hampshire man accused of murdering young woman 30 years ago will not give evidence

A Hampshire man accused of murdering a woman 30 years ago and raping three others will not give evidence in court.

Sally McGrath, 22, was found naked in a shallow grave in woodland near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, in March 1980 after vanishing in July 1979.

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

Former soldier and builder Paul Taylor, 60, originally from Peterborough and now living in Fareham, was arrested last year.

Taylor, known as Barry, was charged with Miss McGrath's murder along with three counts of rape, one attempted rape, a serious sexual assault and an indecent assault.

The sexual offences relate to three different women.

He is standing trial at Chelmsford Crown Court after denying all of the charges.

Jurors heard he had declined the opportunity to give evidence. Orlando Pownall, defending, added that Taylor's wife, Beverley, would also not give evidence.

Mr Pownall read a series of statements from people who knew Miss McGrath.

They claimed she was a casual drug taker who used cannabis and speed, regularly flirted with men and would visit an American airbase at nearby Alconbury where she was friendly with several of the airmen.

Friends had also raised concerns about Miss McGrath's ''care free'' attitude to hitch-hiking.

Brenda Burns, who also visited the base, gave a statement to police working on the original inquiry, saying: ''I remember a coloured American called Gator Newman and I often heard him argue with Sally McGrath.

''One night I heard her scream in the barracks. I don't know what the argument about. He punched her in the face and said one of these days I will kill you, bitch.''

Robert Adams said in a statement that he had known her for about two years.

He added: ''I knew her by her reputation around town. She seemed to talk to anybody or anyone.

''She and her friend had a habit of going into pubs, latching on to guys for a free evening or something like that.''

Mr Pownall said that Taylor insisted the alleged sex attacks were all either consensual or did not happen.

Prosecutor Karim Khalil earlier told the court that Taylor was married at the time of the 1979 offences.

But Mr Khalil said: ''In the 1970s he was a reasonably good looking and physically strong young man. He was brimming with confidence and had the capacity to be an engaging flirt and a ladies' man.

''But if he did not have his own way he had the capacity to become violent very quickly. He used this violence to force young women into submission or simply have his way with them.''

The case continues.

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