Camden man jailed for 1982 murder of pupil from St John’s Wood school

Murderer James Warnock

Murderer James Warnock - Credit: Archant

A man has been jailed for life for the rape and murder of teenage girl 34 years ago who attended a school in St John’s Wood.

Yiannoulla Yianna was raped and strangled in 1982

Yiannoulla Yianna was raped and strangled in 1982 - Credit: Archant

Yiannoulla Yianna, a 17-year-old pupil at Quinton Kynaston, was strangled by James Warnock after he carried out a sex attack on her inside the Hampstead home she shared with her Greek-Cypriot parents and siblings by James Warnock in 1982.

The 56-year-old from Camden, was married at the time and after he murdered Yiannoulla he went on to have was 22 two sons in 1983 and 1986 before divorcing around 2003.

Jurors at the four-week long Old Bailey trial heard he was arrested in December 2015 for child porn offences and when his DNA was run through the database it proved a match to semen found on a bedspread where Yiannoulla’s body had been found.

Further tests showed it matched the partial DNA sample taken from Yiannoulla’s body.

Throughout Warnock’s trial he denied any wrongdoing claiming he was having a secret sexual relationship with Yiannoulla after she caught his eye when he supposedly took some boots into her father’s shop.

However Yiannoulla was a virgin when was murdered by Warnock.

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Last week he was found guilty of her murder and admitted six counts of distributing indecent images of children.

He was jailed for life with a minimum tariff of 25 years for Yiannoulla’s murder and five years and a month for the child porn offences.

He will serve the sentences concurrently.

Detective Inspector Julie Willats, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “After 34 years I am so pleased that today we have seen Yiannoulla’s killer brought to justice. I hope this will bring peace for her family who have lived through decades of grief.

“Yiannoulla was a vibrant young woman with her whole life ahead of her, a bright future planned and supported by her loving family. To have finally tracked down and convicted her killer after all these years is immensely satisfying.

“I’m sure Warnock thought he’d never be caught but historic murders such as this are never ‘case closed’. As we have seen, advances in DNA technology can play a huge part in solving older cases and, no matter how long it takes, the Met will always strive to bring offenders before the courts.”

Yiannoulla’s family, who knew her as Lucy, added: “For over half a lifetime we have had to live with the daily torture of what happened to our daughter and sister Lucy.

“All who knew her, loved and adored her. Even through her death she deeply touched those involved in the investigation of her murder. We thank, from the bottom of our hearts, the police both past and present who have worked constantly and tirelessly to bring him to justice, especially those over the last six months. Our love and thanks to all who gave evidence and helped in this trial and to the family and friends who have supported us throughout.

“We now pray that we can move forward with the rest of our lives having some peace in knowing that her killer has been brought to justice and that a very dangerous man is no longer a threat to anyone else.”