Joanne Yeates Murder Trial: Is Vincent Tabak A Victim Too?
The front pages:
Daily Mirror: “The Kiss Of Death”
The Sun: “I Killed Jo Over A Kiss”
Vincent Tabak says he is “sorry”. He weeps in court.
He says Joanne Yeates invited him in:
“She invited me in. I took off my coat. I hung it on the coat rack in the hall. We both went into the kitchen.”
Yates told him that her cat had gotten into his flat. He says she told him:
“The cat went into places where it shouldn’t go. A bit like me. I decided to make a pass at her… I got the impression she wanted to kiss me.”
He moved in to kiss her. She screamed.
“She started to scream quite loudly. I panicked and I put one of my hands over her mouth. I said something like, ‘I’m sorry, it’s OK. Please stop’… I was panicking. I wanted to stop her screaming. I wanted to calm her down… she went limp, she fell to the floor. I still can’t understand what happened.”
Then she was dead.
“I didn’t want anyone to find out what had happened and I decided to put her in the boot of my car.”
He returned to his flat. He picked up a pizza which she had bought on the way home. He picked up a sock which had come off as he moved her body.
He says he was “in a state of panic“.
He headed towards Bristol Airport . But when he stopped at Longwood Lane, Failand, he “did something horrendous“.
“I decided to leave her body there… I should have called the police the minute she was dead. I still can’t believe I was (capable) of such an act. It will haunt me.”
“I remember reading in one of the newspapers that they (the police) had found DNA, a sample of the DNA found on Joanna’s body, and I thought ‘that’s it’…”
Tabak’s brief, one William Clegg QC, tells the jury at Bristol Crown Court that Yeates had been “bored and lonely”.
“It was pure chance Vincent Tabak and Joanna Yeates ever met on Friday, December 17. If she had stayed for one more drink at the Ram pub she would be alive today. If Vincent Tabak had left half-an-hour earlier to go to Asda – as was his intention – he would not be in the dock.”
She is culpable?
“Vincent was walking towards his car when he passed Joanna’s kitchen window. She saw him, there was a nod of acknowledgement and she beckoned him to come in. She offered him a drink but be declined because he was driving later… Joanna was only being sociable, but he misread her friendliness and made a move towards her as if he was about to kiss her on the lips. He put one hand behind her back to draw her closer. She screamed a loud, piercing scream. He panicked and put a hand over her mouth. He said to her, ‘Stop screaming.’ He apologised. He took his hand away and she carried on screaming. He panicked. He had one hand around her throat and the other over her mouth. In seconds Joanna went limp and was dead. He never intended to kill her. Nothing was pre-meditated. It was pure chance.”
The Star says he is 6ft 4. The Mirror says he is 6ft 3.
Such are the facts…