Beast of Wombwell's rape case to be formally closed after sex attacker died before sentencing

Beast of Wombwell and Sheffield rapist, Peter Pickering
Beast of Wombwell and Sheffield rapist, Peter Pickering

A judge is today expected to formally close the case of Peter Pickering - the child killer known as the Beast of Wombwell, who died before he could be sentenced for raping a woman in Sheffield.

Pickering died in March after suffering a heart attack at a secure psychiatric unit.

COURT: Woman in court over theft of cash from Sheffield police station
He had been locked up for more than 45 years after killing 14-year-old Shirley Boldy in Barnsley in 1972.

CRIME: Woman jailed for leaving man with 'life altering injuries' in Barnsley stabbing
But the 80-year-old was also due to be sentenced for raping an 18-year-old woman, who is now in her 60s, in Sheffield, a few weeks prior to Shirley's abduction.

POLICE: Cash and drugs seized in police day of action in Sheffield
He was identified as the rapist after detectives investigating the unsolved murder of 14-year-old Elsie Frost, from Wakefield, looked back through Pickering's conversations with psychiatrists and found a storage garage he rented in Owlerton, Sheffield, containing possessions including handcuffs and exercise books filled with his rantings.

One note written in 1970 said: "Sex is predominant in my mind - eclipsing all else. Maybe I will be a sex maniac proper. Rape, torture, kill."

The case is expected to be formally closed by High Court Judge Mr Justice Goss at Sheffield Crown Court this morning.

After Pickering's death, West Yorkshire Police confirmed officers had been expecting to charge him with the murder of,Elsie Frost, whose body was found in Wakefield in 1965.

Pickering had been held under a hospital order made by a judge in 1972 after he admitted killing Barnsley teenager Shirley Boldy.

She was bundled into Pickering's van as she was returning to Wombwell High School.

Pickering drove her to a secluded location where he tied her up and raped her.

He tried to strangle her before stabbing her to death.