Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Saturday, 23 February 2008

Weekly summary of Suffolk murder trial

Steve Wright was tried and found guilty of the murders of five women. He had pleaded not guilty to killing Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls between 29 October and 13 December, 2006.

The trial began on 14 January, 2008. This is a summary of the six-week case at Ipswich Crown Court.


Monday and Tuesday: The trial begins, with Mr Justice Gross presiding. Steve Wright confirms his name in Court One. The jury is sworn in, but sent home until Wednesday while legal argument is held.

Wednesday: A health issue with one juror leads to the jury being discharged and a second one is selected. In the opening speech, prosecuting QC Peter Wright says Steve Wright carried out a "campaign of murder", and left the bodies of two of his victims in a crucifix pose, two were found in water, and one was dumped.

Thursday: Defence barrister Timothy Langdale QC says Steve Wright does not dispute that his DNA was found on the bodies of three of the women and admits having sex with four of them, but denies he is a killer.


Monday: The jury visits sites associated with the case, including the semi-rural areas where the five bodies were found and the house Steve Wright lived at during the end of 2006. The judge and barristers accompany them.

Tuesday: Kerry Nicol, the mother of Tania, tells the court of the last time she saw her daughter, and that she did not know she was a prostitute.

Wednesday: Maire Alderton, the mother of Anneli, tells how her daughter spiralled into a life of hard drugs and prostitution after the death of her father.

Thursday: A witness - a sex worker known as Miss F - tells the court a "weird man", called Tom Stephens, claimed to have "been with" all of the five dead prostitutes.


Monday: Jurors see CCTV footage police believe shows Tania Nicol on the night she vanished. It shows a woman being picked up in the red-light district of Ipswich in a dark-coloured Ford Mondeo, which matches one owned by Steve Wright.

Tuesday: The court hears a statement given to police about the disappearance of Miss Nicol by Paula Clennell - who later became a victim herself - in which she told how she saw Miss Nicol for the final time getting into a silver estate car.

Wednesday: The five women may have been too intoxicated with drugs to fight off an attacker, the court is told by pathologist Dr Nathaniel Cary, who examined the victims.

Thursday: Steve Wright had "prolonged physical contact" with three of the women he is accused of killing, forensic scientist Dr Peter Hau tells jurors.


Monday: Consultant forensic scientist Ray Palmer says fibres linked to Steve Wright were transferred to Anneli Alderton and Annette Nicholls about the time their bodies were dumped.

Tuesday: Mr Palmer says fibres found in Steve Wright's Ford Mondeo car, on his Tesco tracksuit and home items, matched those found on his alleged victims.

Wednesday: The trial hears how Steve Wright was interviewed by police on 10 occasions over two days after his arrest in December 2006 but refused to say anything other than "no comment".

Thursday: Steve Wright begins giving evidence in the trial, and the court also hears how Tania Nicol went missing from a red light district less than two weeks after he began using prostitutes in the area.

Friday: Steve Wright tells jurors he had nothing to do with the deaths of the five women and says he has been a "victim of coincidences" and "singularly unfortunate" to have been linked to the killings.


Tuesday: Steve Wright made "sloppy" errors which led police to charge him with the five murders, prosecutors tell the court.

Wednesday: Tom Stephens, who was arrested on suspicion of killing the women and later released without charge, feared he would be viewed as another Ian Huntley, he tells jurors.

Thursday: Closing speeches are made. The prosecution says Steve Wright "could not restrain himself", while the defence says the evidence does not prove Steve Wright was responsible.


Monday: The judge, in summing up, tells jurors to put aside any sympathy they have for the five dead women in the case.

Tuesday: Continuing his summing up, the judge reminds the jury how a DNA link was found and how Mr Wright was watched by police before his arrest.

Wednesday: Jurors retire to deliberate but are sent home for the night after failing to reach a verdict.

Thursday: The jury finds Steve Wright guilty of the murders of the five women, after six hours of deliberations. The prosecution calls for the "whole life term" to be imposed. The families speak of their 'relief' at the verdict and the police say it was their "most daunting challenge in history".

Friday: Steve Wright is told he will spend the rest of his life in jail. Mr Justice Gross hands the maximum sentence down to the 49-year-old.

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