Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Friday, 22 February 2008
Suffolk killer will die in prison

Steve Wright

Steve Wright will spend the rest of his life in jail for murdering five women in Suffolk.

Wright killed prostitutes Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls before dumping their bodies around Ipswich.

Mr Justice Gross, sitting at Ipswich Crown Court, ordered 49-year-old Wright to serve the maximum sentence.

He said: "This was a targeted campaign of murder. It is right you should spend your whole life in prison."

'Systematically selected'

Wright sat emotionless as prosecutors asked the judge to ensure he is never allowed out of jail.

The victims were working as prostitutes when they were murdered and Mr Justice Gross said Wright had targeted vulnerable women.

He said: "Drugs and prostitution meant they were at risk. But neither drugs nor prostitution killed them. You did.

The victims, clockwise from top, Annette Nicholls, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell, Gemma Adams and Tania Nicol

"You killed them, stripped them and left them... why you did it may never be known."

The judge said the case met the legal requirements for a whole life sentence because the murders involved a "substantial degree of pre-meditation and planning".

Wright, of Ipswich, said during his trial that he had had sex with four of the five women but denied killing them.

The naked bodies of the women, aged between 19 and 29, were found over a 10-day period in December 2006.

The jury of nine men and three women heard Wright had "systematically selected and murdered" his victims over a six-and-a-half-week period.

Five of the jurors turned up at court to see the sentence handed down.

Stealing conviction

Analysis by forensic science experts revealed his DNA on three of the women and fibres linking him to all five.

His DNA was then matched with a profile held on a database which had been taken in 2001 for an 80 theft conviction for stealing from a Felixstowe pub.

Drugs and prostitution meant they were at risk. But neither drugs nor prostitution killed them. You did
Mr Justice Gross

Wright was arrested less than three weeks after the discovery of the first body, that of 25-year-old Gemma Adams, in a stream at Hintlesham.

Det Ch Supt Stewart Gull, who led the investigation, said Wright's "appalling crimes" had left a community, a county and a nation "in a state of profound shock".

Wright was due to be taken from Ipswich to Belmarsh Prison in south east London.

He is expected to be placed on suicide watch and undergo routine psychiatric assessments.

Wright is likely to serve his sentence at a high-security prison, possibly Wakefield in West Yorkshire or Whitemoor, near March, Cambridgeshire.

Outstanding cases

Wright's defence team said they would be considering whether there were grounds for an appeal, but said this was routine in all criminal cases.

Police will now check outstanding cases in the region to see whether there could be links to Wright.

Suzy Lamplugh

In 1992, Natalie Pearman, 16, was found strangled after disappearing from the red-light area of Norwich.

A year later Mandy Duncan, 26, of Woodbridge, Suffolk, vanished while working as a prostitute in Ipswich.

In 2000, Kellie Pratt, 29, disappeared from the red-light area of Norwich and in 2002 Michelle Bettles, 22, was found strangled three days after disappearing from the red-light area of Norwich.

Wright also worked on the QE2 in the 1980s, along with missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, 25.

She disappeared after leaving her offices in Fulham, west London, in 1986 and her body has never been found.

The Metropolitan Police refused to be drawn on any possible links to Wright saying: "We are not prepared to discuss who we may or may not wish to interview in connection with any on-going investigation."

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CCTV footage of Wright being questioned by detectives

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