Builder denies the rape and murder of pupil from St John’s Wood school in 1982

Yiannoulla Yianni was murdered 33 years ago

Yiannoulla Yianni was murdered 33 years ago - Credit: Archant

A builder today appeared in court to deny raping and murdering a 17-year-old pupil from a school in St John’s Wood almost 34 years ago.

James Warnock, 56, is accused of strangling and raping Yiannoulla Yianni at her family home in South Hampstead, on August 13, 1982.

Yiannoulla attended Quintin Kynaston School in Marlborough Hill, and worked part-time at Woolworths in Finchley Road.

Warnock, a heavily built man with a beard and glasses was dressed in a grey t-shirt to appear via video link at the Old Bailey this morning.

He was charged with killing Yiannoulla after DNA linked him to the case following his arrest for an unconnected incident in January.

Members of the Yianni family were in court to hear the builder, who was 23 at the time of the schoolgirl’s death, plead not guilty to one charge of rape and another of murder.

No bail application was made and he was remanded in custody until May 20 when he will reappear via videolink for another preliminary hearing.

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The Recorder of London, judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, set a trial date for June 27 this year at the Old Bailey.

A murder inquiry was launched by the Met after Yiannoulla’s parents found their daughter’s body at the family home

Detectives interviewed more than 1,000 people in connection with the case and put up a £10,000 reward for information but made no arrests until Warnock was held.