'Wright incapable of skill and planning of killings'

STEVE Wright's defence team today suggested a greater degree of planning and skill was involved in the killings than he was capable of.

STEVE Wright's defence team today suggested a greater degree of planning and skill was involved in the killings than he was capable of.

Continuing his closing speech, Timothy Langdale QC said Wright was not familiar with the locations where the bodies of five sex workers were dumped and suggested there were inconsistencies in the way they were left.

Questioning the prosecution's case surrounding the fibre evidence, he said “god knows how many (cars) would be using the same carpet as Wright's”.

He asked why the defendant would wear a reflective coat to allegedly dump a body and why, despite a thorough search by police, there was no trace of the clothing of the women.

"What on earth is it about Steve Wright that enables him, as a pretty ordinary sort of bloke, to dispose of the clothing of all of these women without leaving a trace?" Mr Langdale said.

"At the same time the man who is so 'sloppy' leaves blood on his reflective jacket and does not even bother to take that off. How does that square with common sense?" Mr Langdale continued.

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Wright, 49, of London Road, Ipswich, 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.

Mr Langdale said Wright did not know well the locations on the outskirts of Ipswich where the women's bodies were dumped.

There was no evidence Wright went for walks in the countryside and the jury may feel hundreds or thousands of people living around Ipswich may know the areas being considered, he said.

Tom Stephens - who was arrested twice during the investigation but never charged - knew the stretch of road to Nacton where Anneli Alderton's body was dumped, he added.

Mr Langdale said whoever dumped the bodies of the last three victims - Miss Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell - was almost trying to draw attention to the way they were left by making no attempt to conceal them.

He said the jury must ask themselves what conclusions they can draw from the prosecution's case and was it the same person or people who were responsible for the deaths of the victims.

"It may well be that it was not the same person," Mr Langdale said.

"Quite clearly you may think that the bodies of Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams were deliberately placed into the water of Belstead Brook," he said.

"No doubt you will conclude that was done for a reason that the person or people who did it had something specific in mind," Mr Langdale continued.

He said this was to prevent the detection of the bodies for "as long as possible" and to wash away evidence.

Mr Langdale said the bodies of Miss Alderton, Miss Nicholls and Miss Clennell were discovered in "very different locations".

He suggested this evidence showed inconsistencies between the first two victims and the other three.

Mr Langdale said: "The prosecution allege it is the same killer, or killers, and allege the discovery of Gemma Adams' body caused him to change the locations of the bodies.

“You will have to consider that evidence."

Mr Langdale then turned to the fibre evidence given by Ray Palmer, an expert in fibre analysis.

Talking of the fibre evidence found in Miss Nicol's hair, he said: "It is perhaps very important Mr Palmer cannot rule out the possibility that the fibre came from another car altogether.

"These girls were hardly strangers to the interiors of other people's cars and it is not as if Wright's car was some special breed of car with special material.

"God knows how many would be using the same carpet,” Mr Langdale said.

He said the prosecution's claim of "forceful contact" required for her hair to obtain the fibre in the car seemed to him to be no more than speculation.

He asked the jury "why on earth" Wright would tell them Miss Nicol was in his car hours before she disappeared if he was tailoring his evidence to fit the scientific evidence heard in the trial.

He asked why Wright would not just say he had sex with her in the back of his car instead of saying he was with her for five minutes before making her get out.

Referring to the camera footage showing Wright's Mondeo heading out of Ipswich at 1.39am in the morning of November 1, Mr Langdale said if the defendant was driving to dispose of her body the camera seemed to have “missed him coming back”.

“It seems also to have missed him taking Gemma Adams' body out on November 15 - that is another thing the prosecution suggest,” Mr Langdale said.

The defence said it did not make "any sense at all" for Wright to wear a reflective jacket when dumping a body in the countryside.

Mr Langdale asked what more a man could do to draw attention at himself.

He said: "It is the prosecution's case that Tania Nicol was murdered not long after she got into Wright's car at around 11pm on October 30. What is he doing waiting till 1.30am in the morning to drive her body out of town? What is taking all the time?”

He told the jury that if they thought Wright was responsible for her murder he would want to get her out of Ipswich as quick as possible.

The trial continues.