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I did not strangle Joanna Yeates for sexual kicks, says Tabak

Joanna Yeates' killer has faced allegations that he strangled her for sexual thrills.

Vincent Tabak, who denies murder but admits manslaughter, denied claims he had been aroused as he was asked to imagine his victim's last moments.

Miss Yeates' relatives watched in a hushed courtroom yesterday as he closed his eyes for 20 seconds — the time he claims it took to throttle her.

She may have been home for only a few minutes before Tabak was at her door with her cat Bernard, the prosecution put to him.

On his second day in the witness box, Tabak (33) said he was attracted to Miss Yeates, but claimed sex was not on his mind.

He told Bristol Crown Court Miss Yeates had been cheery and happy while flirting with him before the attack.

Prosecution QC Nigel Lickley then asked him: “What's the difficulty in accepting it is sexual?

“Is it because there are other sexual elements to what happened?”

Tabak replied: “There were no other sexual elements.”

Mr Lickley asked: “Is the holding of her throat sexual in your mind? Did you derive sexual gratification from holding her throat?”

Tabak replied: “Definitely not.”

Mr Lickley asked: “Were you sexually aroused when you were holding her throat with your hand over her mouth?”

The defendant replied: “Definitely not.”

Mr Lickley asked: “Were you sexually aroused when you went to kiss her on the mouth?”

Tabak replied: “No ... I felt attracted to her, yes.”

Tabak said: “We were standing close to each other, she invited me in for a drink. She made a flirty comment. I thought she was flirtatious.”

He said he “cannot remember” how his arms were scarred, and denied claims there had been a struggle with Miss Yeates.

The trial resumes on Monday.

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