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Last Updated: Monday, 4 September 2006, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Shoe fetish rapist gets life term
James Lloyd
James Lloyd was traced through DNA from his sister
A father-of-two who admitted being the so-called Dearne Valley Shoe Rapist has been jailed for life - after escaping detection for 20 years.

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

He terrorised women in Rotherham and Barnsley in the 1980s, tying them up with tights and stealing their shoes.

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

Judge Alan Goldsack QC gave Lloyd an indeterminate sentence and ordered he should spend at least 15 years in prison before he is assessed for release.

The judge said that if Lloyd - who had pleaded guilty- had been convicted after a trial he could have expected a fixed term sentence of 35 years.

He added: "Few sexual cases are more serious than these."

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

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

Many of Lloyd's victims watched the proceedings from the public gallery in the packed court surrounded by their friends and family.

Speaking after the earlier 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," she said.

Asked about the significant amount of shoes recovered, she added: "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.

How police used DNA to find James Lloyd

DNA traps rapist with shoe fetish
17 Jul 06 |  South Yorkshire
Shoe rapist case reopens
05 Jun 02 |  England

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