Jury out in case of man accused of raping Sheffield woman weeks before schoolgirl murder

Peter Pickering
Peter Pickering

Jurors in the case of a man accused of raping a Sheffield woman weeks before he raped and murdered a schoolgirl are considering the verdict.

Peter Pickering, aged 80, is accused of raping an 18-year-old woman in the Stocksbridge area in June 1972.

CRIME: Gunmen on the run after shooting in Sheffield city centre

The woman, now in her sixties, told jurors she was handcuffed and raped in the back of a van.

READ MORE: Teenage boy due in court over attempt to kill woman in Sheffield

She also claimed her underwear was cut off with a knife during the sex attack and that her breasts were burned with a cigarette.

POLICE: Knife-wielding thugs threaten staff during cash raids at two Sheffield Co-op stores

Pickering, once dubbed the 'Beast of Wombwell', has been locked up in psychiatric hospitals since 1972, when he admitted the manslaughter of schoolgirl Shirley Boldy, in Barnsley.

Jurors sitting at Leeds Crown Court heard Shirley was 14 when she was abducted, raped and killed by Pickering as she was returning home from Wombwell High School.

The youngster was subjected to a sex attack before being strangled and stabbed.

The attack on the Sheffield woman is alleged to have happened just weeks before.

Giving her evidence in court, the woman branded her attacker a 'monster'.

It emerged that she only spoke about the alleged incident when she was called by the police in 2016 after officers looking through Pickering's medical notes found disclosures he made to psychiatrists.

Pickering, who has appeared in court via video link from Swindon Crown Court, in Wiltshire, denies rape and false imprisonment.

He declined to give evidence in his defence during the trial.

The jury has been told that he was subjected to a hospital order without limit of time in 1972 for the manslaughter of Shirley Boldy by reason of diminished responsibility.

He has never been released and is currently being held at Thornford Park Hospital, in Berkshire.