Judge clears the way for Fareham man’s murder trial

MURDERED Sally McGrath
MURDERED Sally McGrath

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A HIGH Court judge has cleared the way for the trial of a man accused of the murder of a woman in 1979.

Paul Taylor, 60, from Fareham, is charged with the murder of 22-year-old Sally McGrath, in Peterborough, between July 1979 and March 1980.

He is further accused of two offences of rape and a third serious sexual assault against one woman on March 15, 1979; a rape and indecent assault against a second on April 8, 1979; and the rape of a third woman on June 28, 1979.

Taylor, a father-of-two who lives in Valentine Close, had applied for a stay of indictment on the grounds of the 33-year gap between when the seven offences he is accused of are alleged to have occurred and the case coming to court.

But Mr Justice Owen ruled against the former Peterborough builder.

Mr Justice Owen said: ‘I am not at this stage persuaded that the delay has given rise to an insurmountable obstacle to a fair trial.’

But he added: ‘I have qualified that conclusion as I recognise that it may be necessary for the issue to be revisited depending upon the manner in which the evidence emerges at trial.’

Sally was last seen in the Bull Hotel, in Westgate, Peterborough on July 11, 1979.

Her badly decomposed body was discovered in a shallow grave in Castor Hanglands on March 1, 1980.

A trial date has not yet been set.