Dutchman killed British woman then said was 'bored': trial

10th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Dutch engineer accused of murdering the woman who lived next door in southwest England strangled her and then researched how long it would take a body to decompose, his trial heard Monday.

Vincent Tabak, 33, admits manslaughter but denies murdering 25-year-old landscape architect Jo Yeates, whose body was discovered hidden under leaves and snow next to a country road near Bristol on December 25 last year.

Prosecutor Nigel Lickley told Bristol Crown Court that Tabak attacked the woman in her flat, bundled her body into his car, dumped it and then sent a text message to his girlfriend saying he was "bored".

Yeates had gone missing on December 17 after going for a drink with colleagues and buying a pizza from a supermarket on the way home.

When police publicised the fact that a pizza and its box were missing from Yeates's flat, Tabak made Internet searches for the dates of refuse collections in the area of Bristol where he and his victim lived, the prosecutor said.

"Why? Because we suggest he had thrown away things that might incriminate him," Lickley said.

"He looked up information on body decomposition, no doubt hoping nothing would remain of his victim."

Lickley said that when police told Tabak they had forensic evidence to link him to Yeates' body, he accused the forensic science service of "forgery and taking bribes".

"There is no doubt and neither is it in dispute as to how that young woman died," Lickley said.

"Vincent Tabak strangled her with his hand or hands. He held her throat hard enough and for long enough to kill her," the prosecutor said.

"He was in complete control and knew what he was doing."

Despite living in the flat next door to his in the converted house in Bristol, Yeates did not know Tabak, the court heard.

The murder dominated the news in Britain during the Christmas period.

The trial is expected to last four weeks.

© 2011 AFP

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