Friday 24 March 2017

Frozen in time: Murder trial jury visit Joanna Yates flat as she left it on night she died

The sitting room in the flat that Joanna Yeates lived in, in Clifton, Bristol, which was visited today by the jurors at her murder trial. Photo: PA
The sitting room in the flat that Joanna Yeates lived in, in Clifton, Bristol, which was visited today by the jurors at her murder trial. Photo: PA
The sitting room in the flat that Joanna Yeates lived in, in Clifton, Bristol, which was visited today by the jurors at her murder trial. Photo: PA
The bathroom: still covered in police finger print dust. Photo: PA

Tom Morgan

JURORS at the Joanna Yeates murder trial today walked into a flat frozen in time.

They visited Miss Yeates's home which was poignantly preserved with personal belongings and Christmas decorations since she was killed on December 17.



Amid a heavy police presence, Mr Justice Field helped the jury retrace her steps through Bristol's upmarket Clifton district.



They briefly saw the garden flat where defendant Vincent Tabak lived before spending 22 minutes next door at Miss Yeates's home.



Inside, many belongings and mementoes had been left unmoved since her life was cut short at the age of 25.



Boyfriend Greg Reardon had returned to collect his possessions but Miss Yeates's clothes, belongings and furniture remained, the jury was told.



Miss Yeates's size five Asics running shoes had been left stacked in the yellow-painted entrance hall alongside her snow boots.



There were also two cat litter trays for the couple's pet.



The jury then walked into the living room, witnessing the scene of a couple preparing for Christmas.



There was a roll of unused wrapping paper under a table, an unopened box of Christmas crackers and shelves adorned with tinsel.



Miss Yeates's multi-coloured cycle helmet had also been left on show.



On the shelves in the couple's living room were puzzle games and memorabilia from the cult sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf, including a picture montage with cast members and personal messages to "Jo and Greg".



Family pictures had been left at the flat but had been turned away from the jury's view.



Despite a damp smell after 10 months without heating in the basement flat, the layout of the living room remained untouched with a white two-seater sofa and dark blue L-shaped seating with white cushions.



The curtains were drawn with tinsel decorated along the rail.



There were obvious signs of police attempts to gather DNA evidence, with red dots and dust residue showing where detectives had found fingerprints.



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