Court told of DNA link in Ipswich murders

Blood from two of the five prostitutes killed over a six-week period in late 2006 was found on a jacket owned by the forklift truck driver accused of their murder, Ipswich Crown Court was told yesterday.

The jury was told that a host of DNA evidence linked the 49-year-old Steve Wright to the deaths of the women, who were all suffocated or strangled and dumped naked in remote spots around Ipswich.

Peter Wright QC, for the prosecution, said the defendant's neighbours reported having heard strange noises as his washing machine was turned on or he cleaned his car at night. But, the court was told, he had failed to wipe away all trace of the vulnerable drug addicts he had targeted in the town's red-light district. The QC said: "As to what drives a man to embark upon a campaign such as this we may never know but we submit that one thing you can be certain of from the evidence in this case is that in late October 2006 something caused Steve Gerald James Wright to engage in such a campaign and that he is guilty of the murder of each of these women."

Timothy Langdale, QC for the defence, said the DNA proved merely that Mr Wright was a regular user of the local prostitutes. He has admitted having sex with four of the victims and picking up the fifth before changing his mind.

Mr Wright denies murdering Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Annette Nicholls, 29, and Paula Clennell, 24.

DNA matching the defendant was found on the last three victims alongside fibres from his clothing, the court was told. In several cases, the chances of it being anyone else's DNA were one in a billion. And even the badly decomposed bodies of the first two women, found after weeks in a stream, had fibres from Mr Wright's clothes on them.

That this had survived the elements indicated it was what was left of far more substantial transfers on their skin shortly before death, the barrister said. Traces of three of the women's blood or bodily fluids were found with Mr Wright's semen stains on his clothing, he said.

The prosecution case is that over six weeks, after dropping his partner off for her night shift, the defendant cruised the red light district searching for victims who knew him andwould not suspect him even when the first bodies started appearing.

Acting alone or with an accomplice, the prosecutor said Mr Wright had killed them by "smothering, manual compression to the neck or a combination of both", then drove them out of town and dumped the bodies, two posed in the shape of a crucifix.

Despite regularly cleaning his car, he had not been sufficiently thorough, the prosecutor said. "He may have been careful but he was not careful enough; the fibres linking the defendant with the bodies of each of these five women speaks volumes as to his involvement in their disappearance, their murders and the disposal of their bodies."

Ms Clennell's blood and DNA was found on Mr Wright's jacket and gloves. Her breasts and thighs had traces of his DNA. Blood from Ms Nicholls was also found on the jacket and her body bore his DNA. Ms Alderton's thighs and a breast also showed signs of Mr Wright's DNA. All five women had fibres matching his clothing on their bodies.

The trial continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss