The night Jo Yeates died - five extraordinary claims
Jurors hear of Vincent Tabak’s trip to Asda with Jo’s body in his car boot
PROSECUTOR Nigel Lickley QC has given an extraordinary account of the night landscape architect Joanna Yeates was killed last Christmas. Vincent Tabak, a Dutch national, has admitted to the manslaughter of Yeates on December 17, but denies murdering her.
Jurors at Bristol Crown Court were told on Monday:
• Although Tabak, 33, and Yeates, 25, lived in different flats in the
same house in Bristol's well-to-do Clifton area, he did not know her
name. The only time the occupants of the two flats had had any contact before Tabak killed Yeates was when her boyfriend Greg Reardon went into Tabak's apartment to fetch his errant cat at the request of the Dutchman's girlfriend Tanja Morson.
• On the night she died, Yeates returned home with a pizza and two bottles of cider and had settled down to the evening when she was interrupted within minutes by Tabak. Lickley describes her death: "Vincent Tabak strangled her with his hand or hands. He held her throat hard enough and for long enough to kill her. He was in complete control and knew what he was doing... he knew Joanna Yeates was resisting and fighting for her life... He held her neck long enough to squeeze the life out of her." (The pizza was never found and only Tabak knows what became of it, said Lickley.)
• Tabak sent two banal text messages to his girlfriend, Tanja Morson, who was at a work Christmas party, following Yeates's death: "Missing you loads. It's boring here without you" and "I am at Asda buying some crisis. Was bored. Can't wait to pick you up." It is assumed Tabak meant 'crisps' not 'crisis'. Lickley says Yeates's body was in the boot of Tabak's car while he was in the supermarket.
• From Asda, Tabak drove to a quarry just outside Bristol, where he
made an attempt to dump Yeates's body over a fence but failed. Instead he left her body by the side of the road and covered it with leaves. Heavy snowfall prevented the body being discovered until Christmas Day.
• In the days and weeks following Yeates's death, while police were still looking for leads, Tabak is alleged to have searched the internet the legal definitions of murder and manslaughter -
and the different sentences imposed for the crimes. He is also said to have Googled "body decomposition time". ·
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