Closing speeches in Joanna Yeates murder trial

Barristers for the prosecution and defence will address the jury in the Joanna Yeates murder trial for the last time today.  The trial judge, Mr Justice Fields, is expected to sum up the case tomorrow.

The accused, Vincent Tabak, has admitted manslaughter but denies murder.  Mr Tabak’s barrister, William Clegg QC, told Bristol Crown Court last week that Mr Tabak had “completely misread” the friendliness of Ms Yeates.  The jury heard Mr Tabak moved to kiss Ms Yeates but she screamed.  He put his hand over her mouth and held her neck until she "went limp", the Court was told.

The Court have heard evidence of Mr Tabak’s behaviour following the incident – before dumping her body he placed it in the back of his car and drove to Asda where he bought crisps and beer.   He then spent the following weeks searching the internet for sentences for manslaughter and murder.  Mr Tabak’s own barrister has described his behaviour after the incident as "disgusting" but pointed out that this does not mean he intended to kill her.

The case continues.

Commenting on the story Wilson Nesbitt’s Gary Adair, solicitor, said:

“This type of case underlines the importance of legal representation throughout the criminal process.  Everyone has the right to a fair trial and it is the prosecutions job to prove the case. 

"While there may be those who find Mr Tabak’s conduct reprehensible ultimately if he did not pre-meditate the killing he is not guilty of murder.  The role of his defence team is to put his version of events and let the jury decide”.

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