Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Thursday, 21 February 2008
Suffolk killer will die in prison

Five women were found murdered around Ipswich in December 2006. The murder trial of Steve Wright began on 14 January.


The body of 19-year-old Tania Nicol was found on 8 December, after she disappeared on 30 October after 11pm from her usual area of work as a prostitute.

Miss Nicol was local to Ipswich, having grown up on a housing estate on the outskirts of the town.

Tania Nicol
A childhood picture of Tania Nicol, who lived in an Ipswich suburb

She lived there with her mother, Kerry, and her younger brother.

She had dreams of being a pop star while a pupil of Chantry High School but ended up in a series of low-paid jobs.

When she disappeared, her devastated father, Jim Duell, made an appeal to the public to help catch the killer of his "loving and sensitive" daughter.

"Unfortunately drugs took her away into her own secret world, a world that neither of us were aware of," said Mr Duell.

"I couldn't imagine her doing it, her personality didn't seem to be that sort of girl to do that and that was just so much of a shock when we learnt that as of her disappearance."

Mr Duell said: "She must have been so desperate for this stuff that somewhere she crossed the line into this lifestyle."

The killer, he added, could not take away their courage, fortitude and memories.

Miss Nicol was reported missing by her mother, after she had not heard from her for 48 hours.

Kerry Nicol was the first relative to give evidence at the trial of Steve Wright, telling the court her daughter had left home at the age of 16 to live in a hostel and began using heroin there but had asked for helped to get off drugs.

The mother was unaware her daughter was a prostitute, believing she worked in a bar or hairdressers.

Tania Nicol was the first to go missing but her body was the second to be found, in Belstead Brook, at Copdock Mill, near Ipswich.

The prosecution says her body could have been in the water for five weeks, and a post-mortem examination could not establish unequivocally how she died.

However, her lungs were "hyper-inflated" - indicating her breathing had been hampered, the prosecution said. There were no obvious injuries or evidence of drowning.

Her clothes and jewellery were never found.


Gemma Adams's body was found on 2 December. She was 25.

Her partner reported her missing on 15 November, having walked with her into Ipswich town centre, where she had gone to work as a prostitute.

Miss Adams lived in a suburb of the town and she grew up in Kesgrave, a village close to Ipswich.

Gemma Adams
Gemma Adams was 25 when she was murdered
During her childhood, she enjoyed horse riding and learning the piano.

She left school at 16 and did a course in health and social healthcare at Suffolk College, Ipswich.

But about a year later, she was using heroin and also became estranged from her family who attempted to get her into rehabilitation.

It is thought she turned to prostitution to fund her drug habit.

Her father Brian said: "Gemma was a normal happy girl until we lost her to drugs when she was about 17. We had lost contact with her for a couple of years.

"She was bright and bubbly and full of fun. That's the only way to describe her. She was good company, bright and intelligent."

The 53-year-old businessman said his daughter had lost her job at an insurance company before drifting into prostitution.

He continued: "It's every parent's worst nightmare. Once your child is involved with hard drugs your heart is already broken."

Miss Adams was wearing a black waterproof waist-length jacket, blue jeans, a red top and white and chrome Nike trainers at the time of her disappearance.

Her naked body was the first to be found, in Belstead Brook - the stream that Tania Nicol's body was found in six days later.

The prosecution said the discovery of both bodies coincided with the brook flooding and subsequently receding.


Anneli Alderton was found dead on 10 December, one week after going missing. Suffolk Police said she had been asphyxiated. Police also revealed that she had been three months pregnant - although they said that was not relevant to the inquiry.

Anneli Alderton
Anneli Alderton was asphyxiated, Suffolk Police have said

A passing motorist reported seeing her naked body in an area of woodland at Nacton, three days after another motorist mistook it for a mannequin and failed to report it.

The court heard her body had been left in a crucifix pose, with her arms outstretched.

The 24-year-old was known to work in Ipswich as a prostitute.

She had been a popular student at Copleston High School with ambitions of being a model.

Her behaviour began to worry friends when her father, Roy, a computer programmer, died of lung cancer.

Miss Alderton, who had a son, had lived in Cyprus and spoke fluent Greek. She had been jailed three times for persistent theft.

A woman who works as an escort and gave her name as Emma said she had known Miss Alderton for seven years.

"She was a lovely girl, very kind-hearted and would do anything for anybody," she said.

But the "wrong crowd" introduced her to crack cocaine when she was about 13 and eventually Miss Alderton turned to prostitution, she added.

Miss Alderton's brother, Tom, said: "They were all little girls and in desperate circumstances.

"It helps everyone to come to terms with it if they think 'sex worker, drug addict' but nobody's anything 24 hours a day and most of the time, in these girls' lives, they were neither of these things."

She was last seen on the 1753 GMT train going from Harwich to Colchester on 3 December, before boarding another from Manningtree to Ipswich.


Paula Clennell's body was discovered on 12 December in woodland near Ipswich, and the prosecution said it had been "hurriedly dumped".

Paula Clennell
Paula Clennell's father did not know she was a prostitute

The 24-year-old had not been seen since very early in the morning on 10 December.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had been strangled "in association with opiate intoxication".

She apparently predicted her own demise by 25, such was the extent of her drug problem.

Her sister, Alice Clennell, said: "She was very ordinary, the life she had and the life she put up with is completely different to the life she wanted.

"She went down the wrong path, she got in with the wrong crowd of friends.

"I wish I could have took her into my arms and said we can do this together."

The sex worker's parents divorced 10 years ago and she was schooled in a referral unit.

Miss Clennell's father Brian, who lives in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, said he had not known his daughter worked as a prostitute.

He described Paula as being "like any other young woman", who had a "kind-hearted and loving soul".

She was last seen at 0020 GMT on 10 December, wearing a navy blue anorak with a horizontal light blue band across the chest and one sleeve.

When a police helicopter was called to the scene, just off the Old Felixstowe Road, after a pedestrian had spotted her body, Annette Nicholls's body was also discovered nearby.


Twenty-nine-year-old Annette Nicholls, who also worked as a prostitute, was found dead on 12 December. Police initially said she was last seen on 4 December, but at the opening of Steve Wright's trial, the prosecution said she had been missing since 8 December when she was seen in the centre of Ipswich.

Missing Ipswich woman Annette Nicholls
Annette Nicholls went missing on 4 December

Her body was spotted a few hundred yards from the body of Paula Clennell by a police helicopter.

Like Anneli Alderton, she had been placed in a crucifix position, just off the Old Felixstowe Road, near Nacton.

A definite cause of death could not be found because of the decomposition, but her breathing had been hampered.

She had wanted to be a beautician but began taking heroin three years ago.

She was reported missing by her family, who had become concerned after seeing the publicity surrounding the murders of Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams.

She was 5ft 3in (1.59m) tall and slim, with long brown hair.

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