Jo Yeates neighbour admits he killed her
Published 06/05/2011 | 05:00
A DUTCH engineer yesterday admitted the manslaughter of a young architect whose body was found beneath snow on Christmas Day, but he denied her murder.
The parents of Joanna Yeates, who disappeared following a night out with colleagues in Bristol, were at the Old Bailey, London, to hear Vincent Tabak enter his pleas.
Tabak (33) lived in an adjacent flat in the Victorian mansion block at the centre of the high-profile police inquiry into Ms Yeates's death.
He was remanded in custody and will face an expected four-week trial at Bristol Crown Court in October after the prosecution rejected his manslaughter plea. The charge stated that Tabak "unlawfully killed" the 25-year-old last December.
Tabak, who appeared via videolink from Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire, denies murder. Quietly spoken and wearing glasses, a dark suit and a dark blue tie, the multilingual design expert confirmed his name and said he was happy for proceedings to continue in English without the help of an interpreter. As the legal timetable was discussed, he sipped water from a cup and made occasional notes.
Ms Yeates had been out enjoying pre-Christmas drinks with colleagues at the popular Bristol Ram pub on the evening of December 17.
On the way home to the flat she shared with her boyfriend, Greg Reardon (27), she was captured on CCTV as she visited a Tesco Express to buy a pizza which was never eaten. She wasn't seen again.
Mr Reardon raised the alarm on December 19. A week later, dog-walkers found her body on a verge in a lane in Failand, north Somerset, three miles from Bristol. A post-mortem examination revealed she had been strangled.
Ms Yeates's funeral in February was at St Mark's church, in Ampfield, Hampshire, where she was christened. Mr Reardon said: "Jo was a beautiful woman, beautiful in mind, body and soul. She had a great career ahead of her as a landscape architect and would have achieved a great many more things in her life if only she was given the chance." (© Independent News Service).