Vincent Tabak: no sexual thrill from strangling Jo Yeates


Dutch killer Vincent Tabak today denied getting a sexual thrill from strangling Jo Yeates.

Vincent Tabak: no sexual thrill from strangling Jo Yeates

Prosecutors suggested the 33-year-old ”derived sexual gratification” by holding her throat when she spurned his advances.

Tabak admits strangling the 25-year-old landscape architect after going in for a kiss but denies intending to kill her.

He was also accused of trying to sexually assault Jo by pulling up her top and groping her breasts.

The 6ft 4ins engineer was stressed and agitated as Nigel Lickley QC cross-examined him during his second day in the witness box at Bristol Crown Court.

He repeatedly ran his hand through his hair and shook his head as Mr Lickley suggested the attack was sexually motivated.

The prosecutor asked: ”How can you make a pass at someone that is not sexual?

”To kiss a woman on the mouth is a sexual act is it not?

”When you decided to make a pass at Joanna Yeates you had sexual activity on your mind.

”Was the holding of her throat by you sexual in your mind? Were you sexually aroused when you held her throat?

”Did you derive sexual gratification from holding her throat?”

Tabak replied: ”No, definitely not.”

Jo’s boyfriend Greg Reardon, 28, and her dad David, 63, glared at the defendant just feet away in the public gallery.

Mr Lickley continued: ”She showed no interest in you at all.”

Tabak countered: ”She showed interest – she invited me in.”

Mr Lickley replied: ”That’s not showing interest – that’s being neighbourly.

”This was a sexual attack by you – and part of that involved strangling her. And you wanted to kill her.”

Tabak insisted: ”Definitely not true.”

But Mr Lickley continued: ”That’s what you did.

”Despite her best efforts to fight you off that’s what happened. At the very least you wanted to cause her serious harm.”

Tabak claimed: ”I unlawfully killed her yes – but with no intent.”

The Dutchman also confessed that he had mislead the police in the days after Jo’s killing – by giving them titbits of information on former suspect Chris Jefferies.

Tabak told the jury that he was in a ”state of panic, stress and turmoil” after he strangled the blonde.

But Mr Lickley told the jury that Tabak’s action showed he was anything but stressed and
told the court: ”You were able to mask all that inner turmoil from the 17th onwards.

”You continued to manipulate people up until your arrest.”

Dr Nat Cary, a pathologist giving evidence for the defence, told Bristol Crown Court that Jo’s attack would NOT have been sustained.

The expert suggested that Tabak had used ”moderate” force to kill Jo – strangling her with one hand.

Dr Cary also pinpointed a slight fracture to the cartilage of the voice box, which he claimed backed up his account that Tabak more than likely just put one hand around Jo’s throat.

William Clegg QC asked Dr Cary: ”Are the injuries consistent with one hand being used to strangle?”

Dr Cary replied: ”Yes. I would think the amount of pressure applied would be in the moderate range.”

Tabak has previously told the court how he ”made a pass” at Jo after she invited him into her flat on the evening of December 17 last year and made a ”flirty” comment.

He claimed he panicked when she screamed and grabbed her by the throat with one hand until she went limp.

But he insisted he did not intend to kill her in her flat in Clifton, Bristol, and was in ”total shock” that he had taken her life.

Prosecutors suggested Vincent Tabak must have forced Jo Yeates against something as he throttled her.

As the court was again shown pictures of Jo’s bruised body, Nigel Lickley asked him: ”Tell the jury what she was doing.

”If your hand was over her mouth as you have showed then surely all she had to do was back away from you?

”Or was she up against something?

”What was she up against? You were there Vincent Tabak.”

Tabak meekly replied: ”I can’t remember.”

Mr Lickley pressed: ”Was it the floor?”

Tabak said: ”Definitely not, no.”

Mr Lickley continued: ”What was her head against?”

Tabak again insisted: ”I can’t remember.”

Mr Lickley told the Dutch defendant that he must have known that his actions would have killed Jo.

He told Tabak: ”You know don’t you Vincent Tabak that if you hold someone around the throat it stops them breathing.

”What’s likely to happen?

”You knew that Jo was either going to suffer serious injury or die, didn’t you?”

Tabak claimed he just wanted to stop her screaming and replied: ”Definitely not.”

Tabak admits the manslaughter of Jo – whose body was found on Christmas Day – but denied murder.

The trial is expected to last for another six days in front of His Honour Mr Justice Richard Field.