Wednesday 21 March 2018

Yeates murder was all about sex and control, court told

Terri Judd in London

Vincent Tabak saw the fear in Joanna Yeates's eyes as she struggled for her life, but refused to stop strangling her until she died, Bristol Crown Court was told yesterday.

In his closing remarks, Nigel Lickley, for the prosecution, said Mr Tabak, a 33-year-old Dutch engineer, had been in full control that night, with sex on his mind and had intended to kill or harm Ms Yeates.

Pointing out the discrepancies in Mr Tabak's original defence statements and his evidence during the trial, Mr Lickley described the defendant as a "deceitful liar" who had covered up his crime in a cool and detached way.

Mr Tabak, who admits manslaughter of Ms Yeates, a 25-year-old landscape architect, but denies murder, stared at the floor, his head in his hands, during the closing speech.

"This is a killing linked to sex," said Mr Lickley.

During the three-week trial, the jury heard how Ms Yeates had been strangled after returning home from the pub on December 17 last year.

Calling Tabak's behaviour "dreadful", William Clegg, defending Mr Tabak, urged the jury to base its verdict on the evidence, which he insisted did not back up the prosecution's assertion that Ms Yeates's death was "planned, premeditated and sexually motivated".

The trial continues. (© Independent News Service)

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