Page last updated at 11:18 GMT, Monday, 2 February 2009

Serial killer drops appeal case

Steve Wright
Steve Wright was given a whole life tariff

Serial killer Steve Wright has dropped his bid to appeal against his convictions for the murders of five women in Suffolk.

Wright, 49, was jailed for life at Ipswich Crown Court last February.

It is reported that his family says a planned hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice on 24 February will not now take place.

They are hoping that the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will now take up the case.

Wright's brother, David, who is leading the campaign, said: "Our solicitor is now writing to the CPS to secure the release of defence papers.

"But it's going to take a while to go through all the paperwork - we've been told there's enough to fill a transit van. I think it'll be at least a year."

Legal aid

The family has raised 10,000 so far to mount an appeal but much of that has been spent.

If the CCRC decides the case is worth investigating, then Wright will qualify for legal aid.

"The CCRC would pay for things like DNA tests, which would've cost us thousands," said David Wright.

Wright's appeal was due to be heard in London later this month

The bodies of Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls were found over a 10-day period near Ipswich in 2006.

Steve Wright was sentenced after a six-week trial where jurors unanimously found him guilty of all five murders.

He was given a whole life sentence and told he would spend the rest of his life in prison.

Wright's family say there are inconsistencies in the prosecution case against him.

They claim DNA evidence is flawed, and say the police did not investigate sightings of a white van seen in a remote country lane shortly before two of the victims' bodies were found.

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