Friday 24 March 2017

Murder victim's neighbour quizzed over car incident

The body of Joanna Yeates was found on Christmas Day.
The body of Joanna Yeates was found on Christmas Day.

Dean Gray

A neighbour of murdered British architect Joanna Yeates has been interviewed by police after he helped suspected murderer Christopher Jefferies start her boyfriend's car just hours before she went missing.

Peter Stanley and landlord Mr Jefferies used jump leads to start Greg Reardon's car on the night of Friday, December 17.

Neighbours said the 65-year-old had helped re-start Mr Reardon's flat battery so he could drive to Sheffield that night.

Ms Yeates vanished later that evening and her snow-covered body was found on Christmas Day. She had been strangled.

Hours before he was interviewed as a witness by police, Mr Stanley (56) recalled how he and Mr Jefferies, prime suspect in the case, helped her boyfriend before he travelled to Sheffield.

"It was a non-event at the time, but absolutely poignant now -- what if we didn't get the car to start?" he said.

Mr Stanley, who lives in a flat in the mansion to the right of Mr Jefferies in Canynge Road, Clifton, Bristol, said he did not think the former teacher spoke to Mr Reardon about going away for the weekend.

"I wouldn't say there was anything tense between them," he added.

Late last night, Mr Stanley left his flat, accompanied by a plain-clothes detective.

He drove his own maroon BMW car away from his home next door to the house where Ms Yeates lived.

The officer had been speaking to Mr Stanley inside his flat during the day.

He emerged at 3.15pm yesterday with four large brown evidence bags, which he put into his own car boot.

Ten minutes later, Mr Stanley was seen carrying a laptop case and spare evidence bags. Less than 30 minutes later, eight uniformed officers were driven into the road in two large vans.

The developments came as Mr Jefferies was accused by two former tenants, who asked not to be named, of entering flats unannounced.

Privacy

Mr Jefferies also refused to let them put up net curtains to protect their privacy, the couple alleged.

He first came to the attention of the police when he claimed he had seen Ms Yeates leave her flat with two people on the night she disappeared.

Irish Independent

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