Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Killer Wright fails in appeal bid

Steve Wright
Steve Wright was given a whole life tariff

Serial killer Steve Wright has lost his bid at the Court of Appeal to challenge his convictions for the murders of five women in Suffolk.

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

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

Three judges threw out his application for leave to appeal, ruling that his trial was fair and his conviction safe.

Lord Justice Hughes, announcing the decision of the court, said Wright had raised no "arguable" grounds of appeal.

'Possible suspect'

Wright had argued his trial should not have been held in Ipswich because feelings among local people were running too high and that another possible suspect should have been called to give evidence.

He had also said his defence team did not properly challenge forensic evidence, that he was badly advised over his own evidence, and that further forensic evidence should have been put before the jury.

Steve Wright maintains his innocence and his brother David and other family members are now hoping the Criminal Cases Review Commission will take on the case.

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

The judges dismissed a complaint by Wright that the verdict was unsafe because a man who was presented to the jury as a possible suspect was not called at the trial.

The court also rejected his claim that he was "let down" by his legal team, suggesting that the prosecution's case was accepted "as gospel" by them.

Wright's suggestion that he gave "unsatisfactory evidence, particularly in cross-examination" because he had been "coached" by counsel was also rejected.

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