A “sexual predator” who now lives in Hampshire committed a violent murder which went unsolved for more than 30 years, a prosecutor has said.
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 Paul Taylor, 60, originally from Peterborough and now living in Fareham, was arrested last year.
Taylor 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.
Taylor denies the charges.
Prosecutor Karim Khalil told Chelmsford Crown Court that Taylor was married at the time of the 1979 offences.
He openly slept with other women, regularly going for “quickies”, but insisted in a police interview that the relationships were always consensual.
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.”
Mr Khalil told jurors: “You may well wonder that these offences were not prosecuted or prosecuted more vigorously closer to the time. But it is your task to ensure justice is done now. He has escaped justice for too long.”
The case is expected to last for up to eight weeks.