Killer Wright loses right to appeal

SERIAL killer Steve Wright today lost his bid for leave to appeal in the High Court.

SERIAL killer Steve Wright's application to appeal his conviction for the murders of five women was today thrown out by the High Court.

The 50-year-old, formerly of London Road, Ipswich, had sought leave to appeal for a second time.

Wright was convicted last February of killing Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls between late October and early December 2006.

He is currently in Long Lartin High Security Prison in Worcestershire where he is serving a whole life sentence.

Today at the Court of Appeal the former forklift truck driver was not represented by a solicitor. However, an attempt was made by a McKenzie friend, Patrick Cullinane, to make submissions on his behalf.

Despite Mr Cullinane's application Lord Justice Hughes said he would not be able to represent Wright as he was not legally recognised.

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However, the three High Court judges considered five submissions from Wright which were the basis on which he wanted to form an appeal.

Wright contented that his trial should have been moved from Ipswich Crown Court because the jury would have been under pressure given the trial's proximity to the murders. He argued this made the verdict unsafe.

His second point related to Tom Stephens, from Trimley, the man who was arrested shortly before Wright in December 2006, but was released by police without charge .

Wright believes Mr Stephens should have been called to testify at the trial in order for the jury to have heard his evidence and so he could have been cross-examined.

His third argument claimed he had been let down by his solicitors and counsel. Wright believed the Crown's case was accepted as “gospel” by them.

His fourth argument was that he had been incorrectly advised by his legal team when it came to his own cross-examination during the trial.

Finally, Wright wanted an opportunity to re-argue parts of the evidence that convicted him including some of the issues relating to fibres and the fact that none of the women's clothes were ever found.

Summing up on behalf of the bench Lord Justice Hughes said there was no evidence to suggest that the jury had come to the wrong conclusion and that Wright's conviction was unsafe. He said: “This application cannot proceed further and it must be refused.”

As this was the second time leave to appeal has been declined in Wright's case he cannot make any further applications through the High Court.

Last week his 52-year-old brother David, who lives near Bury St Edmunds, said if all legal avenues failed he would take the case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.