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Dublin: 9°C Monday 8 March 2021

Man accused of Jo Yeates murder recounts her death

Vincent Tabak admits the manslaughter of the Bristol architect last December but denies her murder.

Vincent Tabak at Bristol Crown Court today
Vincent Tabak at Bristol Crown Court today
Image: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE MAN WHO has admitted to the manslaughter of architect Joanna Yeates has apologised to her parents for putting them through “a week of hell” after she went missing for over a week before her body was eventually found.

Vincent Tabak, 33, is standing trial for the murder of Yeates in Bristol, southern England on 17 December last year, a charge he denies. He has admitted to her manslaughter.

BBC News reports that the Dutchman has given evidence at Bristol Crown Court this morning explaining the circumstances of her death and his actions in leaving her body next to a roadside verge.

Yeates’s disappearance last December garnered national media coverage and led to a lengthy search before her body was eventually discovered on Christmas Day.

Tabak told the court that he still could not believe he had carried out the act and tearfully said he was “so sorry” for putting her parents through a “week of hell”.

Press Association describes how he told the court the sequences of events that led up to the death recalling how Yeates had invited him into her flat and made a”flirty comment” to him.

‘She went limp’

He ended up making a pass at her but he then panicked when she screamed, placing his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming.

“I wanted to calm her down,” he told the court before he recalled how he strangled her for less than minute until “she went limp” and fell to the floor.

Telling the court how he still could not understand what had happened, Tabak described how he covered her body and put it into the boot of his car, later driving to a nearby supermarket as he had originally intended before eventually dumping the body on a roadside, The Telegraph reports.

In the days that followed he drank alcohol and followed news coverage closely to see if police located her body, expecting that he could be arrested at any moment, BBC News reports.

“I should have called the police the minute she was dead. I still can’t believe I was (capable) of such an act. It will haunt me,” he told the court.

The trial continues.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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