Boyfriend of murdered Jo Yeates tells of terrible pain of losing her
THE boyfriend of murdered landscape architect Joanna Yeates has spoken of his pain at losing her, nearly a year after she was found murdered on Christmas Day.
In an interview with The Sun, 28-year-old Greg Reardon said the couple would probably have married one day.
Miss Yeates's body was found by dog walkers on a snowy verge in Failand, near Bristol, last Christmas Day. In October, the couple's neighbour Vincent Tabak was jailed for life for killing her.
During his trial, the jury heard he strangled Miss Yeates, 25, in a violent confrontation at the flat she shared with Mr Reardon in Clifton, Bristol.
He then span a web of lies and deceit to cover his tracks - taking her body back to his flat, then going night shopping in Asda with her in his car boot.
Within an hour he had dumped her partially clothed corpse on the verge, and just 24 hours later was drinking champagne with friends.
During the trial it emerged Tabak was obsessed with images of women being strangled during sex.
Mr Reardon today told The Sun he met Miss Yeates in 2008 after they both started working for the BDP architecture firm in Bristol, and described her as modest, conscientious and laid-back.
He said the couple had lived together for over a year and had a pet cat, adding: "My mum and dad were very proud of me for finding such a nice girl."
The 28-year-old said he would probably have proposed one day.
"The thought of proposing had crossed my mind although it was probably some time off," he said.
"It was more about taking things one step at a time and seeing where life took us than having a 'five-year plan' or whatever."
He said he and Miss Yeates were planning to spend Christmas with her parents David and Theresa in Hampshire.
Mr Reardon was visiting his brother in Sheffield when Tabak murdered his girlfriend in their home. He said he was not instantly concerned when he came back to find the flat empty, but started to panic when he rang her mobile and heard it ringing in her coat pocket.
When he found her glasses, purse and keys, he "just went a little numb. It was a horrible realisation that something was seriously wrong".
"At the first police press conference on the Tuesday, when I saw all the cameras I just thought, 'I've seen this type of story before. I know how it's going to end'."
He said he cursed "the probability of the situation more than anything".
"Why couldn't we win the lottery instead? It's probably just as feasible as getting murdered by your next-door neighbour," he said.
The 28-year-old was praised, along with Miss Yeates's family, by police for his dignity during Tabak's trial.
He told The Sun: "The trial was a bloody nightmare, but we all had to grit our teeth and ride it through. It was surreal facing Tabak in court. I just had to keep calm and get through it.
"After the trial was over I felt a big release of tension but it just left me a little numb and empty. I was glad of the result, though."
Mr Reardon, who has returned to work and has bought a flat in Bristol, said he still visits his late girlfriend's grave.
He has helped raise thousands for the charity Missing People and is supporting its latest campaign Join The Search, and added: "I'll continue to support charities that helped us and that Jo was passionate about but there's nothing in the pipeline as yet.
"I've visited her grave and will continue to do so. We are in the process of organising a proper headstone and it will be nice to see that in place.
"I'm not sure specifically what I'll do to remember Jo in the future but I'm certainly not going to forget her."