No sex assault on prostitute found dead

THE hunt for Gemma Adams' killer took a new twist last night after it emerged the prostitute had not been the victim of a sexual assault.A spokeswoman for Suffolk police has confirmed a post-mortem examination on the 25-year-old's body found no evidence of a sexual assault, although further tests need to be carried out to establish exactly how she died.

By Danielle Nuttall

THE hunt for Gemma Adams' killer took a new twist last night after it emerged the prostitute had not been the victim of a sexual assault.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police has confirmed a post-mortem examination on the 25-year-old's body found no evidence of a sexual assault, although further tests need to be carried out to establish exactly how she died.

The news came as further harrowing details of the night Miss Adams disappeared and her battle against heroin addiction emerged at the opening of her inquest at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.


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Miss Adams, from Ipswich, was reported missing at 2.55am on Wednesday, November 15, by her partner, Jon Simpson, after she did not return home to Blenheim Road.

She had gone into town that night with the intention of working as a prostitute.

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Her body was discovered at about 11.50am in a fast-flowing brook at Hintlesham on Saturday by fish warden Trevor Saunders.

A second vice girl, 19-year-old Tania Nicol, from Ipswich, is still missing and police say they have “grave” concerns for her safety.

At the opening of Miss Adams' inquest yesterday, coroner's officer Barbara Stark read out a statement by Detective Chief Inspector David Skevington, who is leading the inquiry into her death.

Det Ch Insp Skevington said Miss Adams had grown up in Ipswich and her parents and siblings still lived locally. She had met and began a relationship with Mr Simpson in 1996.

“The two became involved in drug misuse, which escalated into relatively high dependency for heroin,” he said.

“Within the last two years, Gemma Adams turned to prostitution to fund this habit. Throughout this time, she remained with Jon Simpson, sharing accommodation in Blenheim Road, Ipswich.

“Gemma would occasionally see her parents, who continually encouraged and offered support to Gemma to enable her to lead a life away from drugs and prostitution.”

On the night Miss Adams vanished, Det Ch Insp said Mr Simpson had driven his girlfriend into Ipswich to work as a prostitute and separated from her in Victoria Street at about 10pm.

“Jon Simpson would stay in touch with her through text messages and sent her two between midnight and 1am. Gemma Adams did not reply to either of these messages,” he said.

“Jon Simpson drove around trying to find her without success. At 2.55am, Tuesday 15 November, Mr Simpson contacted Suffolk police to report Gemma missing.”

In the statement, Det Ch Insp Skevington said a missing person investigation was launched and police located two independent witnesses who said they saw Miss Adams in the Handford Road area of Ipswich at 1.15am.

He said Miss Adams' body was found on Saturday and the area had been cordoned off to carry out searches and forensic tests.

Throughout Sunday, a post-mortem examination was carried out by a Home Office pathologist and at 4pm that day, Miss Adams' mother and sister formerly identified her body, he added.

Det Ch Insp Skevington concluded his statement by urging anyone who had been in the area of Thorpe's Hill in the last two-and-a-half-weeks, where Miss Adams' body was found, to contact them.

Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean formerly adjourned the inquest while police continue to carry out their investigations.

He said: “I would just like to offer my own condolences to Gemma's family and partner at this time and stress the message that has been given - if any member of the public knows anything at all that could assist the police with their enquiry contact police on the numbers given.”

Police still do not know how Gemma was killed but it is believed there were no significant visible injuries to her body.

They want to trace her clothing as a matter of urgency. She was last seen wearing a black waterproof waist-length jacket with a hood and a zip up the front, light-blue jeans with studs on the pockets, a red top, and white and silver Nike trainers. She was also carrying a black handbag that police have not yet found.

Anyone with information should call the incident room on 01473 613538 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

danielle.nuttall@eadt.co.uk

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