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Woman abducted by killer who got 3 life sentences recalls her horror after being told he could be FREED

Debbie Vangerko was 17 when she was abducted by Nicholas Burton who was later found guilty of murdering Rachel McGrath, 27, who he stabbed to death in a car park
UPDATED AUG 15, 2022
'Highly dangerous' Nicholas Burton (R) abducted Debbie Vangerko (L) when she was 17 and also hacked to death another woman in 1997 (Greater Manchester Police/Facebook)
'Highly dangerous' Nicholas Burton (R) abducted Debbie Vangerko (L) when she was 17 and also hacked to death another woman in 1997 (Greater Manchester Police/Facebook)

CAERNARFON, NORTH WALES: After murdering a judge's daughter in cold blood, a drug addict kidnapped a woman, who expressed her shock after learning that the "monster" could be released soon. Debbie Vangerko was 17 when she was kidnapped at knifepoint by stranger Nicholas Burton. Burton is currently being prepared for release, according to probation officials.

A terrified 17-year-old girl was kidnapped on April 26, 1997, the morning after Nicholas Burton, 28, allegedly attacked a judge's daughter Rachel McGrath, 27, with a knife, leaving her dead in a pool of blood outside a pub in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Vangerko, who was abducted from a nearby street, only survived when they stopped for gas in Caernarfon, North Wales, and she was able to escape. 


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The 'highly dangerous' drug addict had stabbed to death McGrath, 27, in a random attack while she was waiting to pick up her boyfriend in a pub car park in Bramhall, Cheshire. Burton was found guilty of McGrath's murder, as well as the kidnapping, false imprisonment, and threat to kill Vangerko, in April 1998, and given three life sentences. 

Daily Mail reported, Burton, now 51, later confessed he intended to rape and murder Vangerko and find a third victim. According to probation officials, Burton is currently being prepared for release. Vangerko, now 43, was interviewed for the first time since her ordeal and described the Parole Board as "not fit for purpose" she stated, "it was time the rights of victims took precedence over those of criminals."

Last year, in an interview with Vogue, she recalled the terrifying incident and said, "The Happy Mondays songs that he insisted on playing as he forced me to drive my own car 100 miles from home still haunt me – I cannot listen to them, just as I cannot look at the words 'rape,' 'murder' or 'kidnap' in a news report or book, watch a horror film or even a storyline in a TV soap."

Justice Morland described him as a "highly dangerous man who will endanger the lives of women indefinitely," adding that "no Home Secretary is ever likely to allow your release." Despite this, and without the knowledge of Vangerko or McGrath's families, a minimum sentence of 25 years was later imposed, which, with time served prior to his trial, expired earlier this year. 

A tearful Vangerko stated, "I am scared. I thought he was never going to come out." She added, "There is no deterrent. These monsters should not be allowed out. They are put away, but then let out in a few years. There’s no real justice. Leave him to rot and this country will be a safer place.’