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Tom Stephens 'threatened to kill two women'

PUBLISHED: 14:36 12 February 2008 | UPDATED: 12:05 15 March 2010

Tom Stephens

Tom Stephens

A MAN called Tom Stephens threatened to kill two women more than a year before Steve Wright is alleged to have murdered five Ipswich sex workers, the court has heard.

A MAN called Tom Stephens threatened to kill two women more than a year before Steve Wright is alleged to have murdered five Ipswich sex workers, the court heard today.

The revelation came in written statements read out by the defence for 49-year-old Wright, of London Road, Ipswich, who denies murdering Tania Nicol, 19, Paula Clennell, 24, Anneli Alderton, 24, Gemma Adams, 25, and Annette Nicholls, 29, between October 29 and December 13, 2006.

The first statement was from a woman known as Miss L, who said she had an affair with Mr Stephens in 2004.

She said she met him through a lonely hearts column in a newspaper and that they met up for sex on five occasions.

At this stage, Mr Stephens was "polite" and "never scary", the court heard.

On one occasion he suggested they use "a safe word" during sex because he wanted to hold her down, Miss L said in her statement.

She said she refused to do this but on a couple of occasions he did overpower her and this made her feel uncomfortable, the court heard.

She said Mr Stephens pinned her down with hands on her shoulders and across her neck.

In August 2005, Miss L borrowed £500 from Mr Stephens to pay a debt related to council tax, the court heard.

She said in her statement that he described this as a "friendly" loan.

In late August 2004 she decided to call off the relationship and Mr Stephens told her he would wipe out the loan if she slept with him one more time.

In February 2005 Miss L moved in with a friend - Miss M. Mr Stephens made several calls to this address and told Miss M he was "pursuing a debt and had stalker's rights," the court heard.

At Easter 2005 Mr Stephens drove across the country to Miss M's home to visit Miss L.

In April that year he told Miss M that he was "going to kill both women," the court heard.

Miss L reported the matter to the police and changed telephone numbers.

Mr Stephens was given a harassment order and the women have not seen him since the summer of 2005.

The court has adjourned for the day and the trial will continue tomorrow.

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