Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Joanna Yeates killer ‘had body in car boot on shopping trip’

Vincent Tabak is charged with the murder of Joanna Yeates
Vincent Tabak is charged with the murder of Joanna Yeates

Joanna Yeates was strangled by a neighbour who drove to Asda minutes later with her body in the boot of his car, then texted his girlfriend to say that he was “bored”, a court heard yesterday.

CCTV footage played to jurors showed Vincent Tabak (33), at a store in Bedminster, Bristol.

He bought crisps, rock salt and beer before dumping the 25-year-old landscape architect's corpse in a country lane, jurors were told on the first day of his murder trial.

Ms Yeates disappeared just before Christmas last year. As her family waited for news, Mr Tabak was using the internet to research the rate at which a body decomposes, it was alleged.

“As one young man [Ms Yeates' boyfriend Greg Reardon] was becoming more and more worried in his flat about his missing girlfriend, on the other side of the common wall was her killer who had already embarked on research — research that reflects his involvement,” said Nigel Lickley, QC, for the prosecution.

After a week-long search, Ms Yeates' body was found covered by snow at Failand, near Bristol.

Her parents watched at Bristol Crown Court as CCTV images of her last moments were shown.

In the dock, Mr Tabak, who admits manslaughter but denies murder, listened with his head in his hands.

Jurors were told that on December 17, in Ms Yeates’ flat, “Vincent Tabak strangled [Ms Yeates] with his hand or hands. He held her throat hard enough and long enough to kill her,” Mr Lickley alleged.

With his girlfriend at a work party, Mr Tabak went shopping.

Mr Lickley said: “The body may well have been in his car parked nearby.”

The defendant allegedly drove around, then dumped the corpse three miles away near a quarry. The trial continues.

Factfile

Vincent Tabak’s misspelt text message to his girlfriend after the murder of Joanna Yeates: “I am at Asda buying some crises [crisps]. Was bored. Can't wait to pick you up.”

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