Wright 'killed while partner at work'

STEVE Wright murdered the five Ipswich sex workers while his partner was at work, Ipswich Crown Court was told this afternoon.

STEVE Wright murdered the five Ipswich sex workers while his partner was at work, jurors at Ipswich Crown Court were told this afternoon.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC claimed that while Wright's partner, Pamela Wright, was working shifts, he was engaged in “other activities”.

He allegedly picked up prostitutes and - in the case of Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell - killed them by asphyxiation or “manual compression of the neck” while they were severely affected by hard drugs, Mr Wright claimed.

Because the prostitutes of Ipswich knew him, they were at ease in his company and unsuspicious of his motives - especially when the bodies of other women engaged in similar activities began to turn up in December 2006, the court heard.

The lungs of each of the five women were “hyper-inflated”, consistent, the prosecution alleges, with them fighting for breath in the moments before their death.

Mr Wright said that in the period between the night of Miss Nicol's disappearance and that of Miss Adams' disappearance, Wright's partner had only been to work on one occasion.

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He told jurors it was the crown's case that when Wright's partner returned to work, he had “resumed his activities”.

The court was told that Wright lived in London Road, an address in Ipswich's red light district, since late September/early October 2006 and rented the property with his partner.

He worked as a forklift driver and significantly, said Mr Wright, at the time of the first two murders he was working in Hadleigh, not far from where the bodies of Miss Adams and Miss Nicol were found.

His partner worked night shifts at a call centre called Ansaback on Ransomes Europark, on the same side of Ipswich as the remaining three bodies were found, Mr Wright said.

Miss Wright did not drive, so Wright would drive her to work in his dark blue Ford Mondeo and she would get the bus home, the court heard.

Forklift truck driver Wright, of London Road, Ipswich, has denied 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 49-year-old former pub landlord, was charged with murdering the women after their bodies were found in countryside on the outskirts of Ipswich during a ten-day period shortly before Christmas that year.

Each of Wright's alleged victims had been working as prostitutes in the red-light district of Ipswich on the nights they disappeared.

Tania Nicol was the first to go missing and her disappearance was reported to police on November 1, 2006, after she failed to return home.

Miss Adams was reported missing on November 15, 2006, just over two weeks after Miss Nicol disappeared. Her body was found in Belstead Brook at Hintlesham on December 2 that year.

Less than a week later Miss Nicol's body was found two miles downstream at Copdock Mill.

Miss Alderton's body was found in woodland at Nacton on December 10 and two days later the bodies of Miss Clennell and Miss Nicholls were found nearby at Levington.

The trial continues.