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Dutchman Confesses to Killing Jo Yeates, Not Murder

Vincent TabakYesterday, a Dutch engineer by the name of Vincent Tabak confessed to killing Joanna Yeates; however, he has denied that he murdered her. David and Theresa, Miss Yeates’s parents, watched in court as the admission was given by the person responsible for their daughter’s death. The 33-year-old plead guilty to the manslaughter of the 25-year-old, but he didn’t plead guilty to murder. A spokesman for the family said that prosecutors have refused to accept the plea, and now the man will stand trial in October, as they want justice.

On December 17, 2010, Yeates disappeared after going out for a night with her friends in Bristol. It wasn’t until 2 days after that her boyfriend Greg Reardon reported her missing when he returned to Bristol after being in Sheffield with his parents for the weekend. A major police hunt ensued after, receiving publicity nationwide. However, it wasn’t until Christmas Day that dog walkers in Failand, North Somerset, which is 3 miles away, discovered her frozen body.

Yeates was found to have been strangled after a postmortem investigation, while police found her purse, keys, phone, boots and coat at her flat. They also found 2 bottles of cider and the receipt for the Tesco pizza she had bought on her way home the night she disappeared. Tests showed that she never ate the pizza, and it was never found.

The first person to be arrested in connection with Yeates’s death was her 66-year-old landlord, Chris Jeffries on December 30. Before he was released without charge, he was held and questioned for 3 days.

Tabak was one of Yeates’s neigbours in Clifton. He worked at Buro Happold, a consultant engineering company in Bath, and had a girlfriend by the name of Tanja Morson. He was living at a flat in Bristol that a friend of Morson’s owned. His curriculum vitae describes him as fluent in English, but he has been allowed an interpreter for a previous appearance in court. His hobbies are listed as travelling in North and South America, as well as Asia, and he’s also into sailing and photography.

Tobak appeared through video link from HMP Long Lartin prison before Mr Justice Field at the Old Bailey. He confirmed his name and that he agreed for the proceedings to be in English. Representing him is William Clegg QC, who has appeared in trials for Barry George and Asil Nadir.

On October 4, the murder trial will begin at Bristol Crown Court after the judge rejected the prosecutors’ requests to move it to Winchester. This is because, during the trial, jurors are expected to visit Yeates’s flat, and hearing the trial at Winchester may have caused travel problems, while Tabak would also have to travel longer to court every day from prison. He has been remanded in custody until at least his next court appearance in July.

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