London

Yiannoulla Yianni murder trial: James Warnock tells court they met for sex

Yiannoulla Yianni Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Yiannoulla Yianni was seen talking to a man on the doorstep of her Hampstead home in 1982

A man accused of murdering a 17-year-old girl in 1982 has told a court he used to meet her for sex.

James Warnock, 56, told the Old Bailey he had been in a sexual relationship with Yiannoulla Yianni.

The court was told medical evidence suggested the Greek Cypriot had been a virgin when she was raped and strangled at her home in Hampstead, north London.

The divorced father-of-two, who would have been 22 at the time, denies rape and murder charges.

The defendant, who formally lived in Euston, described himself as having been very slim with dark hair, styled like the actor John Travolta, at the time of the murder on 13 August 1982.

He told jurors he met the victim at her father's shoe repair shop a year after he had got married.

'Peck on the cheek'

After bumping into each other in the neighbourhood, he said they got "chatting" and he asked her out for a drink.

"I just remember idle chit-chat. I did not intend for it to go (further). It just happened that way," he said.

He told jurors they kissed and cuddled and "it just progressed from there", adding: "We both realised we wanted to take it further".

He said: "We could not obviously meet at my place so we decided to go back to her house."

The court has heard that Yiannoulla was killed by a stranger who knocked on her door while she was home alone.

The crime went unsolved, but DNA samples from the scene were matched to the former tiler in December last year.

The trial continues.

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