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Last Updated: Monday, 17 July 2006, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
DNA traps rapist with shoe fetish
James Lloyd
James Lloyd was traced through DNA from his sister
A father-of-two has admitted being the so-called Dearne Valley Shoe Rapist who attacked a string of women in the 1980s and stole his victims' stiletto shoes.

Printing firm manager James Lloyd, 49, admitted raping four women and trying to rape two others, when he appeared at Sheffield Crown Court.

He terrorised women in Rotherham and Barnsley, dragging them off the street and tying them up with pairs of tights.

Lloyd, of Thurnscoe, South Yorks, was tracked down through his sister's DNA.

He is due to be sentenced later this year.

Several of his victims were in court to hear him admit the charges.

Some of the shoes recovered by police
Some of the 100 stiletto shoes discovered at Lloyd's workplace

Lloyd was traced when DNA from his sister, taken when she was arrested on an unrelated matter, was matched to samples taken at the time of the offences.

His conviction was hailed on Monday as the biggest victory yet in a "cold case" using this type of DNA evidence.

Speaking after Monday's hearing, Det Insp Angie Wright said Lloyd had an obsession with shoes and would take them as trophies from his victims.

She said officers searched the premises of the printing firm he ran in Wath-upon-Dearne and found more than 100 pairs of shoes. Some were new and others had been used.

"This offender tied his victims up with stockings and tights and we recovered hundreds of stockings and tights at his work premises."

Asked about the significant amount of shoes recovered, she said: "There may be other victims who haven't come forward.

"Some of the shoes have been identified by victims as being shoes stolen at the time of attacks.

"He had a fixation with shoes. That is why he was labelled the Dearne Valley Shoe Rapist."

Suicide attempt

Ms Wright said Lloyd was caught after South Yorkshire Police decided to reopen the case five years ago.

DNA from samples at the time were compared with samples on the police database.

More than 40 close matches were eventually obtained and the third house police knocked on turned out to be that of Lloyd's sister, whose sample had been taken when she was arrested for drink-driving.

The officer said that when Lloyd heard the police were looking for him, he told a relative: "Look after my children. I have committed a series of offences 20 years ago."

He then tried to hang himself.

Ms Wright said Lloyd was a middle-class man, in a senior management position, and was regarded as a "pillar of the community".

Asked about the victims, she said they were "absolutely over the moon" that Lloyd had been caught and convicted.


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