Prostitute claims Joanna Yeates's killer Vincent Tabak tried to strangle her
An American prostitute has claimed Vincent Tabak tried to strangle her weeks before he murdered Joanna Yeates.
Sarah Rayne, 22, met the Dutchman in a hotel room while he was in Los Angeles on a business trip last December.
Miss Rayne says Tabak paid her £155 for sex and then asked her to act out a fantasy in which she pretended to have been drugged by him while he squeezed her neck and "throttled" her.
“He wanted me to pretend that I’d been knocked out by a washcloth he’d soaked in chloroform so he could fantasise that he was raping me while I was unconscious," told the Daily Star on Sunday,
“When I told him there was no way I’d play along with that, he said ‘Let me squeeze your neck while we have sex, then’.
“At first I played along with him. But then squeezing started to turn into throttling. I screamed at him to let me go and he must have been so shocked by my shrieking that he did.”
She added: “I told him to leave and he had the nerve to ask for his money back.
“I told him he could go ---- himself. Knowing what I know now, I’d never have been foolish enough to do that. That guy was twisted and very scary.”
Tabak did his utmost to convince the jury he was a shy, naïve bachelor who strangled Miss Yeates in a moment of panic to stop her screaming after a clumsy pass.
He had only had one girlfriend, Tanja Morson, he told them, and was so sexually inexperienced that he used an online dating agency to start that relationship.
But in reality Tabak was obsessed with violent pornography and prostitutes. He fantasised about women being choked during sex.
When police seized his computers they found a series of degrading images and sadomasochistic films with sexually explicit pictures of a woman bearing a striking resemblance to Miss Yeates.
In one image, a girl with the same short blonde hairstyle as Miss Yeates is shown on her back, with a pink T-shirt pulled up to expose one of her breasts.
He met Miss Morson through the Guardian newspaper’s online dating service, and moved with her to Canynge Road in Clifton. They became neighbours with Miss Yeates and her boyfriend Greg Reardon in October 2010.
As Miss Yeates and Mr Reardon began preparing for Christmas last year, Tabak was sitting at his computer, just a few feet away on the other side of a party wall, downloading pornographic films and pictures which in some cases featured women with a similarity to Miss Yeates.
They included films in which women were abused, humiliated and physically restrained by having hands placed around their throat. In others women were bound and gagged, then choked before having intercourse.
Tabak, who transported Miss Yeates’s body in the boot of his car, also viewed images of semi-naked women lying bound and gagged in the boot of a car.
Police experts were able to show that Tabak logged on to a pornographic website on the morning of the day he killed Miss Yeates. In the weeks after the murder, Tabak flicked between online reports of the police investigation and pornographic websites.
During legal argument not heard by the jury, the prosecutor, Nigel Lickley QC, said: “The [films] depict violent images of women being held by the neck. We submit that these images explain why he held Miss Yeates by the neck.”
“We submit that the killing was sexually motivated given the evidence of the movement of the clothing and [his] DNA on the breast area.”
Mr Lickley said Tabak had been thinking about pornography on the day he killed Miss Yeates. “Before he went to work when he was alone he accessed a portal for a pornographic website. He certainly had porn on his mind.”
It also emerged during legal argument that in the weeks before he killed Miss Yeates, Tabak had sought out prostitutes while he was away on business.
Last November, during a five-week trip to California, he tried to contact four prostitutes he found on the internet.
He phoned three escort girls before contacting a woman called Mimi on December 3, taking $200 from a cash machine and speaking to her again on the phone.