Vincent Tabak found guilty of Jo Yeates murder

Jon Kay looks back at the night Jo Yeates was killed

Vincent Tabak has been found guilty of the murder of Bristol landscape architect Jo Yeates and sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in jail.

Miss Yeates, 25, was strangled in her Clifton flat after inviting her 33-year-old neighbour in for drinks last December, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Her family said they hoped Tabak's life in prison would be a "living hell".

After the case, it emerged the Dutch engineer kept internet pornography depicting violence against women.

On computers recovered from his flat, police found images of men holding their hands around women's necks during sex and photos of women tied up in car boots.

Mr Justice Field, sentencing Tabak, said: "I think there was a sexual element to this killing."

'Dishonest and manipulative'

He added Tabak had committed "a dreadful, evil act on a vulnerable young woman" and that he intended to go "much further" after attempting to kiss her.

Jo Yeates's family: "For us it is with regret that capital punishment is not an option."

"In my view you are very dangerous. In my opinion you are thoroughly deceitful, dishonest and manipulative."

The jury had found Tabak guilty by a majority decision of 10-2 after three days of deliberations.

The judge said there were no mitigating features in this case - only aggravating factors.

He said Tabak put Miss Yeates's family through "seven days of agony" and added that his sexual purpose had only been thwarted by Miss Yeates's "loud and gestured screams".

Miss Yeates's family, of Ampfield, Hampshire, welcomed the sentence but said it was a "regret that capital punishment is not an option".

Neither her father, David, nor her mother, Theresa, were in court to hear the verdict but Miss Yeates's boyfriend, Greg Reardon, attended and shook the hands of police officers after Tabak was found guilty.

"There was never any doubt in our minds that Jo had been murdered," the family said in a statement.

"We will never get over how she was murdered and the total lack of respect with which her body was treated."

They added: "The best we can hope for [Tabak] is that he spends the rest of his life incarcerated where his life is a living hell, being the recipient of all evils, deprivations and degradations that his situation can provide."

Dumped by roadside

Ann Reddrop, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said Tabak was a "cunning, dishonest and manipulative man who knew exactly what he was doing".

Ann Reddrop, from the CPS, said Tabak was "dishonest and manipulative"

"Tabak thought his cleverness and deceit would prevent him from being convicted of a brutal murder. He was wrong," she added.

She added following the guilty verdict there were "other matters" that Tabak would be questioned on at a later date.

Ms Reddrop said Tabak had also used the internet to conduct "in-depth research" on the case in a bid to "keep one step ahead of the investigation".

In the days following the murder Tabak read news articles on her disappearance and searched Google Maps for information on Longwood Lane, where he had left her body.

The killing happened after Miss Yeates made a "flirty comment", Tabak claimed at Bristol Crown Court.

"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.

But when he went to kiss her she screamed and Tabak claimed he held his hand over her mouth and around her neck in an attempt to silence her.

The prosecution claimed that Miss Yeates would have been in pain and resisted him but Tabak denied this was the case and told the court there was no struggle.

He also denied that he had become sexually aroused as he attempted to kiss her but did admit that he was attracted to her that night.

After she died, Tabak texted his girlfriend Tanja Morson to say he was "bored" and drove to a nearby Asda supermarket to buy crisps and beer while Miss Yeates's body was in the boot of his car.

He left her body on the verge of a country road near Bristol and she was found on Christmas Day.

More on This Story

BBC Bristol

Weather

Bristol

Min. Night 18 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.