Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak today pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Bristol architect Joanna Yeates – but denied murder.
The 33-year-old admitted killing the 25-year-old via video link at a hearing at the Old Bailey in London.
However, his plea was rejected by the Crown Prosecution Service and he will stand trial for her murder in October.
Retired legal professional Geoffrey Morson, the father of Vincent Tabak’s girlfriend Tanja Morson, described Jo Yeates’ death as ”tragic”.
Speaking from his home in Cambridge, Morson claimed he had no knowledge of whether his daughter and Tabak are still in a relationship.
He said: ”This is a tragic case for everyone, especially the Yeates family and for us and the Tabak family and anyone who knew those involved.
”It is in the hands of the British judicial system now. We knew that something would happen at 10am but we do not know any more than we have seen in the media.
”I do not know if my daughter Tanja is still with Vincent and I do not expect her to say if she is or not in the media.
”I also do not yet know if she will give evidence in the trial. She did go and visit Vincent in prison but that was some weeks ago.”
A neighbour of Jo Yeates said he was ”not surprised” that Vincent Tabak had admitted killing the landscape architect but denied her ”cold-blooded” murder.
Retired Geoffrey Hardyman lives in the top floor flat of 44 Canynge Road, Bristol, where Dutchman architect Tabak, 33, rented a flat adjoining the one Jo lived in with boyfriend Greg Reardon.
Mr Hardyman, 78, said: ”My spontaneous reaction is that I’m not surprised to find that he denies the charge of murder.
”In the brief times I met him he seemed a totally civilised, sensible and well-educated individual.
”I could not believe he is guilty of cold blooded murder.”
Mr Hardyman confirmed he had also spoken to Jo’s landlord Chris Jefferies, 65, who was originally arrested on suspicion of her murder before being released without charge.
He said: ”I have only spoken to him over domestic matters. I will not talk over the matter with him as he going through a period of recovery and great shock.
”I don’t imagine we will ever discuss it.”
not meaning to make light of the case but the first line of the article needs some punctuation or the power of video link is scary!!
When he was first charged, Vincent Tabak was represented by Albion Chambers. He denied the charge and entered no plea. By the time he entered the manslaughter plea he was represented by Kelcey & Hall. In the absence of any other information I assume that it was Kelcey & Hall who advised him to plead guilty to manslaughter. Why did they do this? It can hardly be because he found life on remand congenial. It can hardly because more evidence had been found against him, Why was no writ of habeas corpus applied for? An appearance before a judge by videolink violates the most fundamental right of a citizen established by Magna Carta.