James Warnock, 56, was sentenced today at the Central Criminal Court to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years for the murder of seventeen-year old Yiannoulla Yianni in August 1982. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the rape of Yiannoulla. Warnock was convicted on 14 July 2016. The crimes took place in Yiannoulla’s home, where she lived with her family, in Hampstead, north London.
Aisling Hosein, CPS London reviewing lawyer, said:
“More than three decades since this terrible crime, James Warnock has finally been brought to justice.
“Warnock has callously maintained his innocence throughout the case and even insisted that he had a sexual relationship with Yiannoulla in the weeks leading up to her death. He also claimed that he had not heard anything of Yiannoulla’s murder at the time, despite the high profile investigation. This was completely implausible and his claims of a relationship were contradicted by the evidence.
“I would like to thank Yiannoulla’s family for their support of the prosecution and for giving evidence in court, which must have been a harrowing experience after 34 years. Warnock’s continuing lies have only served to cause more pain to the family but I hope that his conviction today can bring them some small comfort.
“This conviction should send a strong message that people who commit such serious crimes can be brought to justice many years later and we are committed to working with our police partners to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.”
On the afternoon of 13 August 1982 Yiannoulla had returned to the family home alone to prepare the family’s evening meal. She had been with her mother to visit her father at his shop before returning home. At around 2pm a man was seen at her door. This man forced his way into the house and attacked, raped and strangled Yiannoulla. She was found by her parents when they returned home at around 2.45pm.
Despite extensive investigations by the police at the time Yiannoulla’s attacker could not be found. However, in August 2001 the case was formally re-opened due to advances in DNA techniques. Warnock was arrested for an unrelated matter in December 2015 and his DNA matched samples from the crime scene.
Warnock pleaded guilty on 15 July 2016 to six counts of distributing indecent images of children. He was sentence to a total of four years, to run concurrently.