Wright guilty of murdering five prostitutes

Steve Wright should spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering five Ipswich prostitutes, prosecutors said today. Jurors accepted that he "systematically selected and murdered" the women over a six-and-a-half week period.

Wright, was found guilty today of murdering Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.

After the jury returned its verdicts, prosecutor Peter Wright QC urged the judge to give Wright a whole life sentence.

The prosecutor argued that the criteria for passing such a sentence were met because there was "a substantial degree of premeditation or planning" behind the killings and also because of their sexual nature.

Judge Mr Justice Gross indicated that his only alternative in sentencing would be to start on the basis of a life sentence with a minimum 30-year term.

Dressed in the dark suit, white shirt and pale blue tie he's worn throughout his trial, Wright stood emotionless as the jury foreman read out five guilty verdicts against him.

Flanked by security guards in the dock of Court No 1 at Ipswich Crown Court, Wright looked forward as the jury returned its guilty verdicts.

As each one was read out, cries of "yes" were heard coming from the public gallery, where the families of three of the dead women had gathered.

Members of Paula Clennell's, Annette Nicholls' and Tania Nicol's families clenched their hands together as they listened to the verdicts being read out.

Miss Nicholls' mother Kim sobbed, while the sister and mother of Miss Clennell also broke down.

The naked bodies of the five women were found in isolated spots around Ipswich over a 10-day period in December 2006. The six-week trial heard that two of the bodies were arranged with their arms outstretched in a crucifix pose.

Forensic analysis revealed Wright's DNA on three of the women and fibres linking him to all five, the jury was told.

Wright admitted frequenting prostitutes in Ipswich and having sex with four of the victims, though he insisted he did not kill them.

But the jurors accepted the prosecution case that he "systematically selected and murdered" the women over a six-and-a-half-week period.

The court heard that Wright stalked the red-light district near his home while his partner Pam Wright, 59, was working nights at a call centre.

As lawyers discussed how long he should spend behind bars, Wright sat in his chair in the dock with his head down looking at the ground. There was no sign of any emotion.

As he was led away by prison officers, many of the victims' families in the court craned their necks to get a glimpse of him.

A wall with a partially-frosted glass window separated the public gallery from the dock.

Wright, who did not look up as the jury of nine men and three women left the room, avoided any eye contact as he was ushered out.

His brother David, who is in his 50s, also sat in the public gallery with his wife.

Following the verdicts, a family member of one of the victims leant over to him and said "sorry" as Mr Wright sobbed.

The relatives left court hand in hand, just as they were when they entered.

The jury took just eight hours to convict Wright unanimously on all counts.

Wright showed no emotion as the verdicts were read out, staring forward as he stood in the dock and avoiding eye contact with the jurors and family members in the court.

There were shouts of "Yes" and sobs from relatives of the women sitting in the public gallery as the verdicts were returned.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peopleNational cycling charity CTC said he 'should have known better'
News
i100
Life and Style
The fashion retailers have said they will now not place any further orders for the slim mannequin
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Ugne, 32, is a Lithuanian bodybuilder
tvThey include a Lithuanian bodybuilder who believes 'cake is a sin' and the Dalai Lama's personal photographer
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

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food