THE POLICE officer who led the cold case investigation into the death of Sally McGrath has described her killer as a sexual predator.

Paul Taylor, from Fareham, has been found guilty of the murder of the 22-year-old in Peterbrough in 1979.

Detective Superintendent Jeff Hill, who led the investigation, said: "Thirty-three years ago, a young woman, with her entire life ahead of her, was brutally murdered in Peterborough and today her killer was finally brought to justice.

"Paul Taylor, a predatory sex offender, attacked and raped a number of innocent, vulnerable young women and murdered Sally McGrath but today I am relieved to say he will is now facing a substantial period of time behind bars.

"I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the outstanding courage of so many of the witnesses that gave evidence against Taylor in this trial and in particular those women who were victims of his abhorrent crimes. Their fortitude has been humbling and I hope today's verdict allows them now to secure closure and move on with their lives.

"Additionally, I would like to pay tribute to Sally's family who have retained their optimism and dignity throughout this entire process. I hope that the pain of 30 years will now to some extent start to subside.

"The conviction today is the result of three years' hard work. There was no DNA, CCTV or other single piece of overwhelming evidence, just a solid case built around witness testimony. I am extremely proud to have led this enquiry but its success is entirely down to the hard work, dogged determination and belief of a small number of exceptional investigators. I would like to thank them for their resilience, professionalism and Detective ability.

"Lastly, I would like to say that Taylor deserves every second of his imprisonment for the misery he has bought to so many lives. I pray that Sally can now rest in peace and hope that the message to anyone who is aware of this investigation is clear – the British police do not forget".