Man wrongly linked to Suffolk killings found dead

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The Independent Online

A man wrongly identified by a newspaper as a suspect in the Ipswich prostitute murders has been found dead at his home.

Gareth Roberts, 48, was pictured on the front page of the Daily Mail and named as Steve Wright, who was eventually charged with the murders. Mr Roberts, a former colleague of Mr Wright, was found dead with another man at his home in Pwllheli, North Wales. Police said the deaths were "unexplained" but not suspicious.

The newspaper's mistaken identification of Mr Roberts occurred on 21 December, at the height of the murder investigation, when it used a 20-year-old photograph which had captured him and Mr Wright, who were serving together at the time on the QE2.

The picture, taken on New Years' Eve 1976, was cropped to highlight only Mr Roberts and captioned: "Steve Wright during his time as a crew member on the QE2."

It is understood that a "five-figure sum" was paid to Mr Roberts in compensation.In December, Mr Roberts described his horror at being identified as a suspect. A newsagent told him: "Your picture is in the paper." He said: "There it was. I felt nauseous," he said. "I've never even been to Ipswich."

The newspaper said that the picture had been supplied by a "normally reliable news agency".