'I could have been the next Wendy Speakes': Leeds mum recalls chilling moment she escaped sadistic shoe fetish murderer

Melanie Jayne believe shoe fetish killer Christopher Farrow targeted her in her home weeks after the brutal murder of Wendy Speakes.
Melanie Jayne believe shoe fetish killer Christopher Farrow targeted her in her home weeks after the brutal murder of Wendy Speakes.

A woman from Leeds has described the chilling moment she believes she was about to be the next victim of a sadistic shoe fetish killer.

Melanie Jayne says she was targeted in her home by Christopher Farrow just a fortnight after he raped and brutally murdered Wendy Speakes in Wakefield.
Mrs Speaks was forced inside her home on Balne Lane, tied up and forced to wear a pair of shoes her attacker had brought to the scene.

Sadistic murder Christopher Farrow being brought into court after his arrest in 2000 as victim Wendy Speakes' daughter Tracey Millington-Jones looks on.

Sadistic murder Christopher Farrow being brought into court after his arrest in 2000 as victim Wendy Speakes' daughter Tracey Millington-Jones looks on.

Farrow then subjected the 51-year-old to a horrific sex attack before stabbing her repeatedly and leaving her bloodied body on the bedroom floor on March 15, 1994.

Farrow, from Leeds, was eventually arrested and jailed for life in 2000 after a six-year manhunt.

Melanie was aged 24 when she believes Farrow went to her then home in Regent Street, Agbigg, a couple of weeks after carrying out the killing.

She told the YEP: "I remember it was a Wednesday afternoon and I was at home as I was off sick from work.

Wendy Speakes was brutally raped and murdered at her home in Wakefield in 1994

Wendy Speakes was brutally raped and murdered at her home in Wakefield in 1994

"There was a knock at the door and I thought it was my friend who had come to visit me.

"But when I answered it there was a bloke there with a piece of paper in his hand asking for directions to a house on Abrigg Road."

Melanie said alarm bells started ringing when the man told her he had come in his car but that he had parked it further down the road.

She said: "I thought 'why is he knocking on my door?'.

Wendy's Speakes daughter Tracey Millington-Jones (pictured with her daughter Emmeline) has launched a campaign to stop Christopher Farrow from being released from custody.

Wendy's Speakes daughter Tracey Millington-Jones (pictured with her daughter Emmeline) has launched a campaign to stop Christopher Farrow from being released from custody.

"It was a Wednesday afternoon and there were lots of people about in the street.

"All the while I was talking to him he was looking behind me into the house as if to check if there was anyone else in the house.

"By this time I was getting scared and thinking that something definitely wasn't right.

"I then looked down at the piece of paper in his hand and saw that nothing was written on it.

Crime scene: Police and forensic officers at Wendy Speakes home on Balne Lane, Wakefield, after she was murdered in 1994.

Crime scene: Police and forensic officers at Wendy Speakes home on Balne Lane, Wakefield, after she was murdered in 1994.

"All the time his foot was edging closer to the threshold of the door.

"I slammed the door on him and ran upstairs to the bedroom.

"I looked out of the window and could see him running away through the cemetery near my house."

Melanie rang police straight after the incident as Mrs Speakes' murder just a few weeks earlier had shocked people in West Yorkshire.

Melanie continued: "I remember CID officers coming to my home and telling me I had had a lucky escape.

"I gave them an e-fit of what he looked like and went to Wood Street police station a few times to look at photographs of suspects."

"But that was it. I never heard anything from the police again."

Farrow was eventually caught six years later when he was arrested for drink driving and his fingerprints were taken.

One of the prints matched one found at the scene of Mrs Speakes' home.

He was given a life sentence in November 2000 and told he must serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.

Melanie continued: "By that time I was living in a flat on the Bull Ring in Wakefield city centre.

"I picked up the Yorkshire Evening Post and saw Farrow's picture on the front page and I was physically sick.

"I think I could definitely have been the next Wendy Speakes."

"It was the same man who had knocked on my door.

"I contacted the police again to tell them it was him but I never heard back from them."

A case review team from West Yorkshire Police have now made contact with Melanie.

They visited her at her home in Beeston, Leeds, earlier this month.

The YEP reported earlier this year how Mrs Speakes' family were outraged to discover Farrow has been moved to an open prison.
He may be released in November after a Parole Board hearing and is understood to have plans to return to West Yorkshire.

Melanie has been in contact with Mrs Speakes' daughter, Tracey Millington-Jones, who has started a legal campaign to stop Farrow being released.
Melanie said: "I will never forget that day. It feels like it was only a few weeks ago when he was stood on my doorstep looking at me with those piercing dark eyes.

"It terrifies me to think that he could be allowed out on the streets again.

"He will always be a danger to woman. No one will be safe."

Melanie said a further sinister element of the case is that she may have been targeted because she, like Mrs Speakes, worked a barmaid in Wakefield at the time of the incident.

Mrs Speakes had also worked at the Forresters Arms, on Barnsley Road, and the Inns of Court in Wakefield city centre.

Melanie worked behind the bar at the former Bleasby's pub, on Northgate.

She added: "A lot of people think that at the time he had been stalking barmaids and following them home."

A police spokesman said: "West Yorkshire Police is currently looking in to the recorded offending of Christopher Farrow.

"We are in liaison with Wendy Speakes' daughter and family and are also working with various agencies including the Parole Board, The Crown Prosecution Service and probation services."