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Last Updated: Monday, 14 January 2008, 09:09 GMT
Suffolk killer will die in prison

Steve Wright, the man accused of the murder of five prostitutes in and around Ipswich in 2006, has gone on trial at Ipswich Crown Court.

The key legal figures in the case are profiled below.


Mr Justice Gross

The Honourable Mr Justice Gross

Also known as the Honourable Sir Peter (Henry) Gross, he has been a High Court judge on the Queen's Bench division since 2001.

He was knighted in 2001 and has been the presiding judge on the South Eastern Circuit since 2004.

He was born in February 1952 and educated at Herzlia School in Cape Town and the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

He continued his studies at Oriel College in Oxford after being awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

He was called to the bar in 1977, made QC in 1992 and recorder in 1995.

Previous cases which Mr Justice Gross has presided over include that of Anthony Joseph, who stabbed Richard Whelan to death after Mr Whelan tried to stop him throwing chips on a bus.

He also presided over the case of Clive Goodman, former royal editor of the News of the World, who was jailed for four months for plotting to intercept voicemail messages left for royal aides.


Peter Wright QC, picture courtesy of Peter Wright QC chambers

Peter Wright QC

Peter Wright QC was called to the Bar in 1981 and became a QC in 1999.

He specialises in crime, and in particular, serious gang-related homicide and drug dealing.

The Chambers UK 2006 publication said he "sets the benchmark for quality advocacy on the Northern Circuit . . ."

And the Legal 500 2007 publication described him as a "heavy-crime star".

Previous high profile cases include the prosecution of Harold Shipman, the GP given 15 life sentences in January 2000 for murdering 15 patients while working in Hyde, Greater Manchester.


Timothy Langdale QC, picture courtesy of Cloth Fair Chambers

Timothy Langdale QC

Timothy Langdale practises in all aspects of criminal law, both prosecuting and defending, specialising in serious fraud cases.

He will be representing Steve Wright.

Educated at Sevenoaks School in Kent and St Andrew's University in Scotland, Mr Langdale was called to the bar in 1966 and became QC in 1992.

In recent years the greater part of his practice has been concerned with defence work.

He has also been asked to advise people facing possible criminal charges or appearances before regulatory and disciplinary bodies.

And he has been involved with advising potential witnesses in criminal investigations.

Notable previous high profile cases include the prosecution of Roy Whiting, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for the kidnap and murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne.

Mr Langdale defended Colonel Jorge Mendonca, who was cleared of mistreating Iraqi civilian detainees in Basra in 2003 after a court martial at Bulford Camp in Wiltshire last year.

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