Vincent Tabak phoned detectives after hearing of the arrest of his landlord – and suggested that he had ”information” about him, a court heard today.
Vincent Tabak leaving court
Nigel Lickley, prosecuting at Bristol Crown Court, said: ”On the 30th of December, police announced the arrest of a 65-year-old man.
”Vincent Tabak and his girlfriend were in Holland. They contacted the detective and offered that they might have some information about their landlord.”
Tabak, who made the phone call, said he had seen Mr Jefferies’ car facing one way on the night Miss Yeates went missing, and facing a different direction the next day.
Officers travelled to Holland to meet Tabak and Tanja Morson to take statements and met them on New Year’s Eve in a hotel with Tabak’s sister.
Mr Lickley added: ”The officer noticed that Vincent Tabak was not happy to talk.
”He was particularly interested in why police had taken the front door and he asked several questions about that, despite being told it was standard police practise.
”The officer spent several hours with him. His sister and girlfriend seemed concerned about him.
”They were worried because he was tired. The officer asked Vincent Tabak to provide a DNA mouth swab and finger print.
”The officer explained to him that he had placed himself at the flat once on one occasion, he said he had been there and touched the door.
”He was noted to be getting more and more agitated.”
Tabak agreed to give his samples after the officer told him they were necessary to eliminate him from the enquiry, the court heard.
He denied any involvement in Jo’s death in a statement and told the officer on the night of December 17 he had been at home watching television before driving to Asda to go shopping.
The officer noted this contradicted a previous conversation, in which he said he had not left his flat, Mr Lickley added.
Bristol Crown Court heard how on January 15, Tabak and Tanja visited a dinner party with friends in which the conversation mainly turned to the disappearance and death of Joanna Yeates.
Tabak was sitting next to Sarah Maddock during the dinner. She turned to him and asked him ”about the sort of person who might commit such a murder”, Mr Lickley said.
He said: ”Her recollection is the defendant described the killer as a detached, crazy person who was able to carry on with life”.
Tabak was describing himself when he said that, Mr Lickley added.
When Tabak was arrested he was ”shaky and shocked” and did not say very much, Mr Lickley said.
He was taken to Trinity Road police station in Bristol where a DNA sample was taken – which matched the one given to the officer in Amsterdam.
Items were seized from his Aberdeen Road and his silver Renault Megane was taken. It proved very important and provided ”important links” to blood and fibres.
This helped the police show how Tabak was involved in Jo’s death, Mr Lickley said.
Jo was last seen on December 19 by priest Father Henward, who was out walking his dogs on the snow and ice in the vicinity of Canynge Road, when he spotted her returning home just after 8.30pm.
Tabak entering Asda
He told police they had both looked at each other and he had remarked: ”It’s slippery isn’t it?”
To which she had replied: ”It is, isn’t it.”
The court heard details of Greg Reardon’s 999 call to police at 00.45am on the 20th December in which he said his girlfriend was missing.
He told the operator: ”I’ve been away for the weekend and I have come back and found my girlfriend not here when she is supposed to be.
”All of her important stuff is in the flat.. her wallet, keys, phone. I am worried if she is missing or she might be in hospital somewhere.
”I am quite worried. I have called everyone that I know in the area. I said to her on Friday that I would be back on Sunday evening.
”I have been trying to ring her.”
At 9.07am on December 20 Tabak, in an email to his girlfriend Tanja, wrote: ”Hi gorgeous, I’m not feeling ok.
”I’m at work. It’s such a horrible thing to be thinking of.”
Later in the day he wrote: ”Wish we could leave for Cambridge this evening.
”Leave this mess behind. Missing you loads. V xxx.”
Tanja replied: ”Hope she will turn up at home all of a sudden.”
To which Tabak wrote: ”I will make sure you are not home alone.
”Let’s hope nothing bad happened and she is discovered healthy and well today/tomorrow.”
In another email exchange, later in the week, Tabak tells Tanja that there flat will have to be searched by police.
He said: ”As Chris put it to see if there are no dead bodies in our flat.”
The trial continues.