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Last Updated: Friday, 22 December 2006, 04:53 GMT
Man in court over Suffolk murders
Stephen Wright
Stephen Wright of Ipswich was arrested on Tuesday

A 48-year-old man has arrived at court where he faces charges of murdering five prostitutes.

Stephen Wright, of Ipswich, is accused of murdering Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Tania Nicol, 19, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.

The naked bodies of the five women were discovered in countryside near the Suffolk town over 10 days this month.

Another arrested man, Tom Stephens, 37, has been released on bail. Mr Wright is to appear before Ipswich magistrates.

He was arrested on Tuesday at his home in the Suffolk town and charged by police on Thursday night.

Miss Nicol vanished in late October, sparking a police inquiry.

When Miss Adams's body was found in a stream at Hintlesham, Suffolk on December 2, police began a murder inquiry.

The bodies of the other four women were discovered in rural locations nearby over the following 10 days.

Police said Miss Alderton had been strangled, and Miss Clennell had died as a result of "compression" to the neck.

Police have not said how Miss Adams, Miss Nicol and Miss Nicholls died.

'Constant review'

At a news conference on Thursday night, Det Ch Supt Stewart Gull said: "You will be aware that on Monday 18 December, as part of our investigation into the murders of five women in the Ipswich area, we arrested a suspect at his home address in Trimley.

"The next day, Tuesday 19 December, a second suspect was arrested in Ipswich.

"As a result of these inquiries, the 37-year-old man from Trimley was this evening released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Five candles burn above a picture of the women

"The second man, Stephen Wright, from Ipswich, has been charged with the murders of all five women."

Michael Crimp, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "We've made the decision that there is sufficient evidence and authorised that Stephen Wright, born on 24 April 1958, of London Road, Ipswich, should be charged with the murders of Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls, and Paula Clennell.

"We will continue to keep this case under constant review as it develops.

"Mr Wright will be kept in custody to appear before Ipswich Magistrates' Court."




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