Jo Yeates murder suspect Vincent Tabak appears in court

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The Independent Online

The parents of landscape architect Joanna Yeates came face to face for the first time in court today with the man accused of murdering their daughter.

David and Teresa Yeates were at Bristol Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing for Vincent Tabak.



The couple have not seen Tabak in person in court before as the defendant has appeared by videolink from prison at the previous hearings they attended.



They arrived and left court hand in hand, accompanied by two police officers.



Tabak, a Dutch engineer, has admitted the manslaughter of Miss Yeates, a 25-year-old graduate, but denies her murder.



The charge states that Tabak "unlawfully killed" Miss Yeates between December 16 and December 19.



Tabak was escorted into the dock of courtroom six by four security guards.



The greying 33-year-old wore glasses, a white shirt, blue tie and grey suit for the 30 minute hearing before Judge Martin Picton.



Miss Yeates' parents sat in the second row of the public gallery and Mrs Yeates occasionally looked over her shoulder towards Tabak.



Det Chief Inspector Phil Jones, who led the Avon and Somerset investigation, sat behind the barristers but immediately in front of the defendant.



Tabak, who sat hunched in the dock, spoke only once.



The clerk asked him: "Are you Vincent Tabak?" He replied: "Yes I am."



The hearing was being held to finalise arrangements for the four-week trial, which is due to begin on October 4 before Mr Justice Field.



The case was adjourned until the trial and Tabak was remanded into custody.



Miss Yeates, who lived in Clifton, Bristol, disappeared on December 17 after going for Christmas drinks with colleagues.



Her frozen body was found dumped on a verge in a lane in Failand, north Somerset, on Christmas Day.

PA