Vincent Tabak 'joked' about Jo Yeates body hunt

The killer of Bristol landscape architect Jo Yeates jokingly suggested to friends they look in drawers for her body, a court has heard.

Vincent Tabak, 33, an engineer originally from the Netherlands, made the remark at a dinner party, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Witnesses also told the jury they heard screams in the area around Miss Yeates' flat on the night she disappeared.

Tabak admits manslaughter but denies murdering the 25-year-old.

Miss Yeates went missing on 17 December 2010, and her snow-covered body was found on Christmas Day.

'Detached crazy person'

The trial heard a statement from solicitor Sarah Maddock, a friend of Tabak's girlfriend Tanja Morson.

She said Tabak and Miss Morson had attended a dinner party in the St Andrews area of Bristol after Miss Yeates's death, where Miss Maddock speculated that the murder was mystifying.

She added: "I think I remember Vincent agreed with the statement and may have added 'either that or someone would have to be a totally detached crazy person to be able to act normally after doing something like that'."

In a police statement which was read out in court, party host Andrew Lillie said: "Vincent just said a small remark about opening a drawer so they could look for a body."

The jury also heard evidence from Harry Walker who said he heard a scream on the evening of 17 December.

He heard the "human noise" between 20:15 and 20:50. "At the time I thought it might be students after a party but it was a bit early for that," he said.

Florian Lehman told the court he and his wife Zoe were arriving at a party at 53 Canynge Road - opposite Miss Yeates' flat - on 17 December when they heard two screams.

"They were quite loud. They seemed to me to come from quite a distance," he said.

"It was definitely a female voice. I thought it might be playing kids."

Colleagues of Miss Yeates, who had seen her on the day she died, also gave evidence on Thursday.

'Just jovial'

Elizabeth Chandler, an office manager at BDP where Miss Yeates worked, said: "Jo did tell me that she was dreading the weekend because it was the first time she was going to be left on her own.

"Her partner Greg [Reardon] was going away."

Image caption Tabak lived next door to Jo Yeates

Darragh Bellew, who saw Miss Yeates at the Bristol Ram pub after work, said she planned to go home and bake cakes and bread.

Miss Yeates disappeared after leaving the pub in Park Street and walking back to her Clifton flat.

When prosecution barrister Nicholas Rowland asked Mr Bellew whether she was drunk when she left the Ram, he told the jury: "Not at all. Just jovial, her usual self."

Michael Brown, who also worked with Miss Yeates, told the court: "She said she didn't have any plans for the weekend and appeared bored and she planned to do baking."

He said that colleagues had bought Miss Yeates a pint-and-a-half of cider but added she was not slurring her words and did not appear unsteady on her feet.

The trial continues.

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