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Jo jury can reach majority verdict

The jury in the Joanna Yeates murder trial has been told it can reach a majority verdict.

Mr Justice Field has told the the six men and six women he will now accept a majority of 10 to two as they deliberate for a third day.

Vincent Tabak, 33, denies murder but admits the manslaughter of Miss Yeates, 25, at her flat in Clifton, Bristol.

The judge said the jurors must focus on what Tabak's intention was at the time she died.

Greg Reardon, Miss Yeates's boyfriend, arrived at court as jurors were sworn in again.

The judge asked the jury on Wednesday: "Did he intend to kill her or cause her really serious harm? The fact that afterwards the defendant may have regretted what he had done does not amount to a defence.

"If, having examined the evidence and despite the defendant's denial, you are sure that when the defendant strangled Joanna Yeates he intended to kill her or cause her really serious bodily harm, your verdict will be guilty.

"If you are not sure of his intentions when he strangled Joanna Yeates, your verdict should be not guilty."

Landscape architect Miss Yeates was last seen alive on the evening of December 17 last year. She was reported missing two days later when Mr Reardon returned to their ground-floor flat in Canynge Road after a weekend away.

Police launched a hunt for the university graduate but her body was found by dog walkers on Christmas morning in a country lane in Failand, North Somerset - just three miles from her home.


From Belfast Telegraph