Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Jury visits killed Joanna's flat

Jurors visited Joanna Yeates's home to retrace her final steps

Jurors at the Joanna Yeates murder trial have walked into a flat frozen in time.

They have visited Miss Yeates's home which has been poignantly preserved with personal belongings and Christmas decorations since she was killed on December 17.

Amid a heavy police presence, Mr Justice Field helped the jury retrace her steps through Bristol's upmarket Clifton district.

They briefly saw the garden flat where defendant Vincent Tabak lived, before spending 22 minutes next door at Miss Yeates's home.

Inside, many belongings and mementoes had been left unmoved since her life was cut short at the age of 25. Boyfriend Greg Reardon had returned to collect his possessions but Miss Yeates's clothes, belongings and furniture remained, the jury was told.

Miss Yeates's size five Asics running shoes had been left stacked in the yellow-painted entrance hall alongside her snow boots. Her multi-coloured cycle helmet had also been left on show.

Despite a damp smell after 10 months without heating in the basement flat, the layout of the living room remained untouched with a white two-seater sofa and dark blue L-shaped seating with white cushions. The curtains were drawn with tinsel decorated along the rail.

Also on show was a bowl of Love Hearts sweets, postgraduate architecture notes, a box of pain killers, letters from a bank and a box of Christmas cards.

The jury then walked into the living room, witnessing the scene of a couple preparing for Christmas. There was a roll of unused wrapping paper under a table, an unopened box of Christmas crackers and shelves adorned with tinsel.

Tabak, 33, has admitted manslaughter but denies murder. The trial at Bristol Crown Court continues.

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