The Independent London Newspaper
20th November 2018

Verdict: James Warnock is found guilty of raping and murdering schoolgirl Yiannoulla Yianni in 1982

    James Warnock

    James Warnock will be sentenced on Monday

    Published: 15 July, 2016
    By WILLIAM McLENNAN

    A HANDYMAN from Regent's Park has been found guilty of raping and murdering Swiss Cottage schoolgirl Yiannoulla Yianni more than 30 years ago. 

    A jury at the Old Bailey, who had sat through four weeks of harrowing and at times graphic evidence, took just two hours to find James Warnock, 56, guilty on both counts yesterday (Thursday).

    But the verdict can only be reported today after he pleaded guilty to six unrelated charges of distributing child abuse images and videos on the Internet.

    Warnock, who was 22 and living with his new wife in nearby Adelaide Road when he committed the "horrific" crime in 1982, had escaped justice for 33 years until his arrest in December. He was caught in a police online anti-paedophile sting spanning two years.

    Yiannoulla Yianni

    DNA swabs taken by police were found to match semen left at the scene of Yiannoulla's death, which had been re-examined in 2001 with the advent of new genetic forensics.

    Details of his arrest can only now be revealed after legal restrictions, in place to to prevent the jury being prejudiced against him, were lifted.

    Leading coverage: How the CNJ reported on Yiannoulla's murder

    Yiannaoula's sister and two brothers, who spent much of the past month in court listening to Warnock's claim he had secret sexual relationship with the 17-year-old, broke down as the unanimous verdicts were delivered an Thursday.

    They sat stoically in court today (Friday) as pleaded guilty to the six other charges, which took place in 2013 and 2015.

    Giving evidence to the jury, they had been forced to relive the horrific day her lifeless body was found, almost entirely naked lying on her parents bed on Friday, August 13, 1982.

    They watched on as Warnock claimed he conducted an illicit, but consensual relationship with the former Quintin Kynaston pupil.

    But the jury today found that Warnock fabricated an elaborate lie to cover his tracks and had, in fact, brutally attacked the teenager after chasing her through the house.

    There were jubilant scenes outside the courtroom as Yiannoulla's family hugged the detectives who, never having given up on the case, finally delivered justice. 

    Yiannoulla's sister, Maria, and her brothers, Pete and Ricky, had been forced to defend their sibling's reputation against the suggestion that she had brought home an older man for sexual encounters as a way of rebelling against her traditional Greek upbringing. 

    Warnock's defence counsel, Geoege Carter-Stevenson, had sought to paint a picture of a teenager who was stifled by strict parents and had repeatedly acted against their wishes. 

    But Maria, who was 20 at the time of her sister's death, said they were "best friends" and had no secrets.

    Of their traditional upbringing, which meant they were not allowed to have boyfriends and would "never in a million years" bring a man to their parents home, Maria had told the court: "We had a very strict upbringing. We accepted that. We accepted that was our tradition, our culture and we lived our lives accordingly."

    To counter Warnock's claims he had consensual sex with Yiannoulla "about ten times", the jury were shown detailed physical evidence that proved she had been a virgin on the day of her death.

    In his closing remarks on Monday, Crispin Aylett QC told the jury: "As a result of the defendants plea of not guilty the family have had to relive the horror. Maria's family have lived with this tragedy for nearly half a life time."

    Warncok, who lived in Harrington House, Harrington Street, at the time of his arrest, will be sentenced late today.

    Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said: "Plainly it is going to be a very substantial sentence"

     

    Comments

    Sj

    Rip james

    Sj

    Rip james

    Sj

    Rip james

    S j

    Rap

    Rest in peace Yianoulla now

    Rest in peace Yianoulla now the animal has been caught and convicted

    So glad justice has been

    So glad justice has been served! I went to school with Yianoulla, classmates & rarely a day went by when she wasn't in my thoughts. You have finally been laid to rest Yianoulla. RIP

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