NO-ONE seemed to know what Jackie Pedlingham did for a job, but they certainly knew how she died.

The petite, always smartly dressed 35-year-old was found naked on the bed in her Worcester flat, her hands tied tightly behind her back and a dressing gown cord tied even tighter around her neck.

Jackie’s body had lain in the Lansdowne Rise apartment for about a week in September 1990 before being discovered.

Ron Page, who was caretaker of the development, told police that neighbours rarely saw the dark haired woman who lived alone. “She has been here for 12 months and I have only spoken to her twice in all that time,” he said. “I don’t think she went to work. I didn’t see her going out in the mornings or coming back in the evenings. At the most I used to see her twice a week walking from her flat. She was always very smart, but looked very, very pale, almost as if she was ill.”

It transpired that Jackie Pedlingham had a husband from whom she was separated, but that wasn’t the door police knocked on a few hours after the gruesome discovery. That belonged to a male friend, David Taylor, aged 44 and a former steward on cruise liners, who was originally from London but had moved up to Worcester and was renting a place in Ombersley Road.

The couple had met about three months before on a Government training course where Jackie was learning office skills. Lonely after the breakup of her marriage, she was flattered when Taylor asked her out. He seemed pleasant enough and she even took him to tea at her parents home in Tolladine, Worcester, where again he made a decent impression.

But David Taylor was hiding a dark past, the worst of which did not come out until the eve of his trial. For starters, when he first met Jackie, Taylor had only just been released from prison for possessing a sawn off shotgun. But that wasn’t even the half of it. In 1983 he had been given an eight-year jail term for a horrific rape in an Oxford sex shop.

Taylor, who had a long record of petty crime, went into the premises looking for the owner who owed him money. When the man left the shop, Taylor turned on his assistant, a married woman in her 20s.  In a sinister preview of his attack on Jackie, he threatened the young woman with a walking stick before tying her hands behind her back and frogmarching her upstairs. There he threw her on to a double bed, raped her and then tried to throttle her with an electric flex before fleeing.

But that time the victim did not die. She recovered and was able to identify her attacker.

Taylor’s explanation for killing Jackie was bizarre. He told police the couple were engaged in a sex bondage session in her flat when she began to plead with him to make their casual relationship more permanent, something he did not want.

So he strangled her.

His trial was set for Worcester Crown Court in November 1991 but there were still two twists in the tail-end of the evil life of David Taylor.

In a phone call from his remand cell in Winson Green prison, Birmingham, to his probation officer in Worcester, Taylor claimed he had killed before.

“I have killed two people,” he said. “ One was 20 years ago, somebody no-one knows, and the other was recently. Now I am killing myself.”

He did too. When prison officers went to his cell on the eve of his trial, they found David Tayor dead from a drugs overdose. Instead of taking his prescription drugs he had been hiding them and then swallowed the lot in one fatal dose.

Because of staff shortages the Home Office had stopped the practice of prison officers watching inmates to make sure they took their prescriptions, with inevitable results.

Taylor had been on a cocktail of powerful anti-depressants, tranquilisers and sleeping pills, which he stashed away.

Jackie Pedlingham’s parents,  Reg and Sheila Vaughan, were preparing to leave home on the first morning of Taylor’s trial when police rang to tell them he had committed suicide.  “David Taylor took the coward’s way out,” said Mr Vaughan, “But Jackie got her revenge on him in the end.”