Friday, 15 September 2017

'Shoe rapist' who kept 126 pairs of victims' stilettos as trophies hid behind mask of respectability in double-life

James Lloyd repeatedly assaulted lone women in 'meticulously planned sex attacks' - tying many up with their own tights - then took their shoes to store in his office

He escaped detection for around two decades, attacking and raping women before making off with a trophy from his appalling crimes.

To the general public James Lloyd was a respectable businessman, the owner of a printing firm and a freemason.

But Lloyd led a double life. He repeatedly attacked lone women, tying them up with their tights and stockings before raping them - then taking their stilettos to store in his office.

When he was finally rumbled, Lloyd had 126 pairs of ladies shoes. He was convicted of four rapes and two attempted rapes - but police believe the true number of his victims could be much higher.

And, as a serial rapist whose attacks were concentrated around the Rotherham, it is believed he may have meticulously planned each assault - even doing a reconnoitre of the site where he would drag young women into bushes, trees and grassy areas and rape them.

Former Detective Inspector Angela Wright, the police officer who eventually snared Lloyd with the help of improved forensic techniques when the case was re-opened, said: "The more crimes he committed the more violent he got."

Lloyd was eventually snared after DNA profiling brought his sister, who had once been arrested for drink driving, to the attention of police. When she contacted Lloyd to say police had been asking about him he rushed home and tried to kill himself - and the crimes he had hidden for 17 years began to be exposed.

She added: "When he got taken into the ambulance, he said 'Look ive been a b***** 20 years ago."

But Angela insists at this point, with Lloyd confessing to just one rape, they were looking for the shoes to prove he was the shoe rapist who had left women terrified to go out in the 1980s.

"We went to search his property and his house," added Angela. "In his garage he had some high heeled shoes but they looked as if they had been bought from a website for fetishes. They were not shoes that a woman could possibly wear.

"He certainly had a horrendous fetish for high heels. I spent many hours watching videos of what he did with them. It was clear to me that offences stopped because he had got married and he was living out fantasies with his wife."

But it was a chance comment by his wife, that Lloyd spent lots of time at the printing firm he ran, which led police there. Hitting another blank, officers questioned workers who revealed Lloyd spent a lot of time in the office above and didn't like other people going up there.

Police searched the office and found more than 100 pairs of shoes. They also found stockings and tights - the items used by Lloyd to tie up his victims.

Angela said: "We found hundreds of pairs of shoes. I just remember them bringing these shoes down. It was marvellous. I knew then we had our man.

"It was just so many, really really high heels and they had obviously been worn and they did belong to someone at one point. It was quite clear to me there were more victims than had come forward.

"He showed no remorse. He was an individual that just lived in a facade."

Lloyd attacked the women in the Rotherham and Barnsley areas of South Yorkshire between 1983 and 1986. He targeted females between the age of 18 to 54.

Taking advantage of the party atmosphere of the town at the time, he preyed on lone women in high heels walking home after a night out with friends, dragging them to isolated locations to rape them.

Author Peter James, who has been inspired to write his latest novel Dead Like You by the story of the Rotherham Shoe Rapist, said: "If you look at any serial offender whether a serial killer or a serial sex offender they tend to be people who are quite intelligent.

"He would probably have meticulously planned each time. I would imagine he would have come here, and reccied it, perhaps many times."

Lloyd hid from his crimes behind a facade of respectability. He was a freemason and manager of a very large printing works in Rotherham and was known as a workaholic, who would often work weekends. He then went on to marry and have two children, halting his campaign of raping lone women.

But it was his obsession with shoes that was his undoing.

Peter added: "A classic pillar of the community which is so often the mask that people use.

"Serious offenders would have some weak spot. That was his, he couldn't bear to let go of these offences.
"If his sister had never been caught for drink driving he would probably be a free man today."

The crimes began on one Saturday evening in February 1983, when a woman was attacked as she made her way home by a man who dragged her onto the grass and tried to rape her This was the beginning of Lloyd's trophy taking - as her attacker would take her shoes and her handbag.

The next attack took place near Barnsley in December that year, and the victim was raped at knifepoint - just 10 months after the first attack.

Then in October 1984 he tried to rape another woman in Rotherham, and a week later raped another female in the area.

Both had had their shoes taken after the attack.

Two more attacks then took place - one in December in Barnsley. And in August 1986 another woman was attacked in Swinton.

At a number of the attacks the victims' handbags and jewellery were taken - and each time their shoes.

But police continued to hit a brick wall as they searched for the rapist.

Former Detective Constable David Buxton said they were restricted by the lack of available techniques at the time - having no DNA or CCTV evidence - or social networks or mobile phones that could give clues.

He said: "At that time the techniques that would have been available were fibre transference, comparison of hairs. Blood grouping - we needed to have a suspect to compare with the items recovered from the scene and the victim. But of course we didn't have a suspect."

As more incidents took place, they began to focus on the bizarre habit of taking shoes as trophies.

David Buxton added: "We began to consider, were the shoes taken just to slow the lady down, for example to stop her escaping? Or were they taken for some other purpose?"

Police used a de-coy to try and snare the rapist - a woman wandering along alone in heels - but the ruse did not work.

They then spoke to victims to try and create a photo-fit of the attacker's face which was released to the media - but still he was not found.

After a wave of attacks that left women in the area living in fear the serial rapist suddenly and inexplicably stopped.

For 17 years Lloyd walked free - having got away with the horrific sex attacks he carried out.

It was not until 2002 when South Yorkshire Police decided to re-open the case and see if forensic science could help solve it.

Lisa Balfour, DNA expert, worked on the case and managed to get some DNA of the offender from semen samples left on the victims. But when this was compared with the database no match was found.

However they did extend this, running the DNA from the offender through the database to look at relatives who may be on there after being arrested. Related people share around 13 characteristics of DNA, so there was a chance that this could lead to the rapist.

Officers started to speak to a handful of people who 'might' have been related and the third house they tried was a woman who turned out to be Lloyd's sister.

She told officers her brother was a 'respectable businessman' but phoned him to inform him about the police investigation.

Betraying his guilt, Lloyd raced home and tried to hang himself in his garage - only to be found and rescued by his young son as he returned home from school. He was arrested in 2006 - more than 20 years after the first attack.
In a court hearing Lloyd admitted to raping four women and attempting to rape a further two. In 2006 he was given an indeterminate sentence and ordered to spend at least 15 years in prison.

Lloyd went on to serve just seven years in prison, after the Court of Appeal reduced his prison sentence.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shoe-rapist-who-kept-126-11170176

 
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