Locals shocked by arrest

WITHIN an hour of Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull revealing a man from Trimley St Martin had been arrested on suspicion of murdering five Ipswich women the streets of the idyllic Suffolk village were transformed into a frenzied media scrum.

WITHIN an hour of Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull revealing a man from Trimley St Martin had been arrested on suspicion of murdering five Ipswich women the streets of the idyllic Suffolk village were transformed into a frenzied media scrum.

When the residents of Jubilee Close and the surrounding area of St Martin's Green awoke to see their gardens covered in a particularly festive layer of white frost yesterday morning they had little idea of what was in store.

At 9.30am the street was a picture of peaceful suburbia and only the presence of two uniformed officers in florescent jackets guarding a police cordon gave away any clue that something was amiss.

But by 10.30am, after making a frantic trip from police HQ in Martlesham onto the A12 and along the A14 towards Felixstowe, the world's media had descended upon the scene and it was a completely different story.


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Cars were soon double parked, vans sporting huge satellite antennas quickly appeared and reporters clutching notebooks and microphones materialised in a desperate effort to build a picture of 37-year-old supermarket worker Tom Stephens, who has been taken in for questioning.

Scores of cameramen and photographers crowded the police tape at the entrance to Jubilee Close to get a better view of proceedings, while some even managed to talk their way into neighbours' back gardens and peer over fences.

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The two policemen who had manned the road earlier in the morning were soon joined by a larger police presence, with two marked cars visible along with the operational support unit, which parked sideways across the road to block the view to the house.

Residents were only allowed into the street if they had proof of address and only one or two dared to leave the safety of their homes and run the gauntlet of the media spotlight.

Most remained inside watching from upstairs windows, although one or two did brave the cold and got a closer view from the pavement.

Meanwhile those wanting to reach their homes in St Martin's Green or other nearby roads could only crawl along as they sneaked their cars past and managed to dodge the growing number of journalists.

By midday forensic experts in white suits were combing the house for clues and a large white tent had been erected in a further effort to protect them from prying lenses.

Forensic teams were still at the house at 6pm last night and a car thought to belong to Mr Stephens was later taken away.

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