Wednesday 7 December 2016

Killer went shopping 'with body in his boot'

Tom Morgan in London

Published 11/10/2011 | 05:00

A killer neighbour strangled Joanna Yeates then went shopping in Asda with her body in the boot, a court heard yesterday.

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Vincent Tabak texted his girlfriend to say he was bored just minutes after murdering the 25-year-old landscape architect, a jury was told.

He avoided police suspicion for weeks by maintaining the pretence that he was a concerned neighbour, the prosecution claims.

As the murder inquiry made international headlines, Tabak told a guest at a dinner party the killer must be a "crazy, detached person", Bristol Crown Court heard.

The 33-year-old -- who has admitted manslaughter but denies murder -- also sent a string of emails to his girlfriend to cover his tracks, describing the case as "creepy", prosecutor Nigel Lickley said.

Bespectacled Tabak, a Dutch engineer, looked on from the dock as Mr Lickley said: "He was in complete control and knew what he was doing."

CCTV footage showed him wandering the aisles at an Asda supermarket in Bristol less than two hours after the killing on December 17.

Within minutes of "squeezing the life out" of Ms Yeates, Tabak was claimed to have sent his girlfriend a text message: "Miss you loads. It's boring here without you Vxx".

He then went to the 24-hour supermarket to buy rock salt -- for melting ice -- along with crisps and beer.

"It must be that the body of Joanna Yeates was in the boot of his car at the time of his visit to Asda," Mr Lickley said.

Blood

A forensic examination of the scene where her body was found located Ms Yeates's blood on a wall of a neighbouring quarry, suggesting Mr Tabak tried but failed to lift her corpse over.

Ms Yeates' mother Teresa -- flanked by husband David -- wept in the public gallery as the jury was shown CCTV footage of the victim enjoying drinks with friends before she was killed.

Ms Yeates had not known Tabak despite being his next-door neighbour.

On the night of her death, one couple walking past her flat heard two screams, one muffled, before a thud like furniture moving, Mr Lickley said.

Ms Yeates had got home after drinks and "settled down for the evening when she was interrupted by Vincent Tabak".

"There were screams heard by neighbours at a nearby party," Mr Lickley said. "Those screams were Vincent Tabak attacking her."

Mr Lickley added: "Having killed her, he drove her body in the boot of his Renault Megane car and deposited her in Longwood Lane."

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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