Ipswich suspect 'became sloppy in murder spree'

Steve Wright, the man accused of murdering five women in Ipswich, was unable to explain yesterday how the blood of two of them ended up on his clothing.

Gemma Adams, 25; Tania Nicol, 19; Anneli Alderton 24; Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29 – all drug addicts who worked as prostitutes in the red light district of the town – disappeared in late 2006. Over a 10-day period their naked bodies were found dumped in isolated spots around the Suffolk town. Mr Wright denies murdering them.

But the jury yesterday heard claims that he had become "sloppy" in his "campaign of murder", leaving vital clues that led detectives to him.

As he gave evidence for the third day before Ipswich Crown Court, the 49-year-old forklift truck driver was challenged by Peter Wright QC, for the prosecution, to explain why the blood of both Ms Nicholls and Ms Clennell was found on one of his coats.

"How did [Ms Nicholls'] blood get on the outside of the back of the right sleeve of your jacket?" asked the barrister, to which the defendant replied: "I couldn't say." The barrister continued: "How did [Ms Clennell's] blood get on the back of your left shoulder?" "I have no idea," answered Steve Wright.

Nor could he offer a reason why red fibres found on three of the women matched similar ones discovered in his Ford Mondeo and on his sofa. But he denied the prosecution's suggestion that they had come from a blanket used to transport the bodies to their final resting place.

Despite the fact that he was known to take pride in a clean car, seven blood flecks, apparently from Ms Clennell, were on the back seat while hairs from Ms Nicholls were also found in the vehicle. "Is it the position you had reached was this – so successful had you been at picking up these women and killing them that you were getting sloppy?" the barrister asked, to which Mr Wright replied: "No way. I had nothing to do with their deaths."

But the QC continued: "Is it the case that you set out to try and tailor your case to fit the forensic evidence in this case?" Mr Wright replied firmly: "No I have not."

The defendant has repeatedly insisted that he could not explain the "coincidence" of all the forensic evidence, simply asserting that – as a regular user of prostitutes – he had picked up all five women and slept with four of them.

Pointing out that the defendant had made no comment during more than eight hours of police interviews, the barrister suggested it was because he had no innocent explanation.

"As far as you were concerned, your account is an act of desperation on your part to try and explain away the connection between you and the murder of each of these women," he said, adding: "The sad truth is, Mr Wright, that you engaged in a campaign of murder for a period of six weeks. That's the truth isn't it... selecting women to have sex with and to kill?" Mr Wright replied: "No, I did not."

The trial continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past