A miscarriage of justice

On 28th October 2011, at Bristol Crown Court, Dr. Vincent Tabak was found guilty of murdering landscape architect Joanna Yeates on 17th December 2010 and sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum tariff of 20 years. The evidence proving that he was made the scapegoat in a cruel and deliberate miscarriage of justice to protect the real killer is summarized point-by-point in “Guilty until proven Innocent”. The British and international news media and even the Leveson Inquiry have been muzzled to prevent them from exposing this evil scandal.

The jury and the “show” trial

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”

- Dick the butcher, one of Jack Cade’s rebels, in "Henry VI", Part 2,
attr. Wm. Shakespeare

This post contains a list summarising the items that made this an unfair trial, followed by a calendar listing all the speeches, testimony and other items making up the trial.

Bristol Crown Court
(Photo: The Mail)
It was at the plea and case management hearing on 5th May 2011 that Counsel for the Prosecution, Nigel Lickley QC applied for Vincent Tabak’s trial to be held in Winchester to minimize the influence of adverse local publicity, and his Defence Counsel, William Clegg QC, who, catastrophically for Vincent Tabak as it would turn out, asked for the trial to be held at Bristol Crown Court. Evidently it was the defence who were keen for the jurors to visit the flat where Joanna Yeates had lived, so that they could visualize for themselves the fictitious scenario that they had contrived to explain the circumstances of the killing. Mr. Clegg’s “murder tourism” initiative was just one gimmick that made a cruel “show” out of Vincent Tabak’s trial. It was his own defence team who wanted to expose their client to jurors whom the prosecution expected to be prejudiced by local publicity.

The victim – Joanna Yeates
He was charged with unlawfully killing Joanna Yeates between 16th and 19th December 2010.

The jury is sworn in

Potential jurors had to answer questions about whether they knew any of the trial witnesses or had links to the firms BDP (where the victim and her boyfriend worked), Buro Happold Ltd (where the defendant worked) or Dyson (where the defendant’s girlfriend worked). Jurors were also asked whether they had contact with police during the investigation into Joanna Yeates’s disappearance.

The jury consisted of 6 young local men and 6 young local women, all of them white. The balance between men and women was probably just a coincidence. Even so, in cases such as this, where the accused is not local, why is no effort made to achieve some measure of fairness, by ensuring that at least half of the jury’s members are non-local, non-white, non-youthful? In cases where the accused is a classic mobile EU migrant professional, why is no effort made to achieve some measure of fairness, by ensuring that some of the jury’s members are deliberately drawn from other EU member states? A juror who has lived in the same place all his life is unlikely to grasp the importance of evidence of the good character that was the basis on which a defendant who is otherwise unknown locally had been head-hunted to the neighbourhood by an employer.

The jury had a right to hear
ALL the evidence, including
Christopher Jefferies’s
testimony about the persons
he saw on the front path
A jury is expected to use the commonsense of ordinary men and women to reach their verdict. Commonsense, however, is applicable only to situations that lie within ordinary people’s experience. It cannot be applied unreservedly to studying for a Ph.D, to the behaviour of DNA molecules, to living and working in a foreign country, to committing murder, nor to being held on remand in prison. All these jurors were young, so none of them brought to their task the scepticism and wisdom born of experience that age brings.

After the jury had been sworn in, the Judge, Mr. Justice Richard Field, warned its members not to do any research into the case, nor to look up old news reports on the internet about the investigation, nor to study news reports of the trial proceedings. Their verdict, he told them, must be based solely on the evidence they heard in court. The twelve youthful jurors must have wondered how this stern old lawyer could seriously expect them to forget the lurid reports (and lies) about the victim, the accused, their families and their friends that had been so firmly impressed on their memories by the frenzied news media day in, day out, less than one year earlier. They had a right to expect to hear ALL the evidence. Was the judge aware of the unreported deal between the lawyers that prevented the jurors from hearing any independent evidence of the defendant’s good character?

The jurors had been told to expect the trial to begin on Thursday, 6th October, 2011, but it was not until Monday, 10th October 2011, that Mr Nigel Lickley QC opened his case for the Prosecution. Sally Ramage (Criminal Law News, November 2014) reports that Mr William Clegg QC pleaded for more time to read the extra 1300 pages of evidence that the Prosecution had thrust upon the Defence at the last minute. These colour-coded pages formed a bound A3 document containing the timeline of the alleged murder, with details of every incident involving each of the four parties involved.

Mr. Justice Field
The jurors were not to participate in social networking sites relating to the trial. Although there were many online fora devoted to discussing this particular case, the Judge’s instruction was presumably a reference to the moderated Facebook forum Joanna Yeates - discussion of the case which had been set up on the internet by an anonymous administrator eight months earlier at Christmas 2010. Noel O’Gara and Debra C. were among those who contributed many posts full of valuable knowledge and insights, without which this analysis of Vincent Tabak’s scapegoating would not have been possible. This Facebook forum was systematically infiltrated by one or more undercover agents, using a variety of fake profiles, at the instigation of unidentified judicial organisations, presumably the CPSA & S Constabulary, 3PB Barristers Chambers and 2 Bedford Row. These organised internet trolls bullied and scared off ordinary participants, and used their detailed knowledge of the published facts of the case to manipulate the discussion so as to reinforce the appearance of legitimacy of the actions of the police and the judiciary. The forum was shut down at short notice on 23rd April 2012. This intriguing aspect of the police’s and lawyer’s working to undermine the legitimate exercise of free speech by concerned citizens anxious to uncover the truth about the judiciary’s misuse of power has not hitherto been discussed in public.

The naive majority

The bathroom in Joanna Yeates’s flat,
where neither the jury nor the journalists could
miss seeing the forensic chemical residues.
On 12th October 2011 the judge Mr. Justice Field, the journalists and the jury were conducted on a field tour to Longwood Lane and the Hophouse pub, from which they retraced the last leg of Joanna Yeates’s walk home to her flat at 44 Canynge Road. The jury were shown both the defendant’s flat (briefly) and the victim’s flat. The main purpose of this macabre field trip was ostensibly to enable the jurors to decide whether her screams would have been audible outside. In contrast to Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie’s “Murder in Mesopotamia” (and Capt. Hastings in the TV version), the judge did not instruct a female juror to scream inside the flat while her eleven colleagues took up the positions from which witnesses claimed to have heard screams. The jury and the journalists could hardly fail to miss the conspicuous residues of forensic chemicals that had deliberately been left there so as to reinforce the deceit that the otherwise cosy flat had been the place where Joanna had died. However, the bathroom was the one room not mentioned in his testimony by Vincent Tabak, who apparently took no steps to clean up after him. Nor did the jury hear any witness testify that any forensic analysis of the flat had been carried out, nor of any results from a forensic search for evidence at the property.

44 Canynge Road, Clifton
Vincent Tabak had been invited to take part in the field trip to 44 Canynge Road, but he declined. Did the judge hope that his reactions to seeing the interiors of Joanna’s flat and the flat he had shared with Tanja Morson until nine months earlier would betray some signs of remorse or guilt? Visiting Canynge Road chained to a security guard, in the presence of journalists and jurors, would certainly have been humiliating and distressing for him.

Only a minority in the otherwise very naive jury were reluctant to believe the weird scenario of the shy academic Vincent Tabak (who at the age of 28 had subscribed to a dating site to meet his first and only girlfriend) going brazenly up to a petite girl like Joanna Yeates and strangling her without raping her. His account of events (derived from a theory obtained from unidentified detectives advanced in The Mirror nine days before his arrest) was totally at odds with the injuries to her body and the boyfriend’s testimony of the state of disorder he encountered in the flat, indicating that the killer had chased Joanna Yeates from room to room, knocking things over and spreading knickers and earrings in all directions. “In such a case the Court does not consider the probable conduct of any reasonable man or woman in the known circumstances, but the probable conduct of the particular persons concerned”, wrote the Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Bucknill in 1953. “It is clear that when one is considering the probabilities with regard to the alleged conduct of a particular man, the test to apply is the probability with regard to that particular man in the particular circumstances of the case.” This is one of several important guidelines that Mr. Justice Field failed to impress on the jury, both while he was instructing them prior to the start of the trial, and in his summing up.

The jury deceived and manipulated

Long Lartin Prison
The jury were bound to believe the false “confession”, at the very least, that Vincent Tabak had been responsible for the killing of Joanna Yeates. They heard him repeat it on the stand, but they were uninformed of the isolation, blackmail, torture and abuse he had been subjected to for nine months in Long Lartin Prison. The jury were totally misled about the deceitful trap set for him by a manipulative Salvation Army prison chaplain, who recorded selected parts of three confidential counselling sessions and cobbled them together to enable the prosecution and his own defence QC to misrepresent them as an admission of guilt. Neither the public nor the jury was told that the manslaughter plea that formed the basis for the trial had been entered by a person whom no one in court knew. It would not occur to the jury that a model prisoner is someone who has learnt always to do what he is told, including standing trial for a crime on the basis of a manslaughter plea entered by an imposter, even when their is no sound evidence against him. That false “confession” also had the effect of convincing the whole nation that he did it.

The headlines day by day

Here are the main headlines reporting what the jury heard on each day of Vincent Tabak’s “show trial”:
Day 1: Cool Vincent Tabak went shopping with Jo’s body in the boot of his car.
Day 2: Cold, calculating Vincent Tabak tells girlfriend he is bored after killing Jo.
Day 3: Jurors’ poignant visit to flat where tragic Joanna was killed.
Day 4: Vincent Tabak drank champagne and told friends only a crazy, detached person could have killed Jo.
Jo’s parents arriving at the Court.
Their testimony was never heard
Day 5: Vincent Tabak weeps as photos of Jo’s blood-stained body are shown in court.
Day 6: Vincent Tabak strangled Jo for 20 seconds to stop her screaming.
Day 7: Vincent Tabak confessed to Salvation Army prison chaplain that he had killed Jo.
Day 8: Vincent Tabak surfed internet for unsolved murders and body decomposition.
Day 9: Vincent Tabak apologizes to Jo’s parents after admitting contemplating suicide.
Day 10: Vincent Tabak denies getting sexual thrill from strangling Joanna.
Day 11: Joanna’s neighbours did not hear her screams the night she was strangled.
Day 12: Vincent Tabak knew Joanna would die and could have let her live.
Day 13: Joanna’s murder was all about sex, says prosecutor.

How the trial was rigged

Prosecuting Counsel
Nigel Lickley QC
Defence Counsel
William Clegg QC
A “show” trial is one that has been rigged so that the outcome is a foregone conclusion, such as the trial of opponents of Stalin witnessed by youthful British diplomat Fitzroy Maclean in 1938. Like Vincent Tabak, many of the Soviet dissidents in Moscow had stood trial on the basis of contrived admissions of guilt. Accusing a living judge of conducting a trial in which the QCs and court officials put on a “show” to deceive and manipulate the jury and the public in the mainstream media is forbidden. The use of courtroom gimmicks, however, such as a full-size reconstructions of a crime scene, or an animated video of the crime, is evidence that the arraignment is being rigged. Counsel for the Prosecution’s “show” in the trial of Vincent Tabak included a “digital presentation” and a “site visit” to Clifton and Failand. What made it even more of a “show” was Counsel for the Defence William Clegg QC’s conspicuous disloyalty to his client, whose exemplary character and implausible profile as a killer he concealed from the jury, by prior unreported agreement with the prosecution. Like the trainer in the Sherlock Holmes case of “Silver Blaze”, but with more success, he had undertaken to taint his defence so that his “horse” would lose. Mr. Clegg’s so-called “defence” was the elephant in the courtroom that neither the media nor the gullible public was prepared to talk about.
  • Mr. Clegg made no attempt to plant the suggestion in the minds of the jury that the victim might have received some of her 43 injuries from someone other than his client, nor that the disorder in the flat might have been staged or invented.
    Who or what caused her 43 injuries?
    Mr. Clegg did not want the court to know.
  • Neither he nor the Counsel for the Prosecution Nigel Lickley QC made any attempt to establish by witness examination whether or not Vincent Tabak is a “crazy, detached person”.
  • The Prosecution made no effort to establish a motive for the murder.
  • Nor did they produce any evidence of any change in the defendant’s behaviour prior to the killing that might account for his sudden transformation from a gentle and conscientious person into a cold-blooded criminal with the intent to kill. Mr. Clegg failed to draw the jury’s attention to these factors in his closing speech.
  • On the other hand the jury heard statements from seven witnesses to his behaviour after the killing and prior to his arrest.
  • Thanks to an unreported agreement between the defence and the prosecution not to submit any independent character evidence, the only person who submitted evidence of the defendant’s professional and academic achievements, good character and sympathetic personality was Vincent Tabak himself when he went into the witness box. The defence failed to submit the good character testimony of any of the numerous credible witnesses who spoke favourably to the press about the defendant immediately after his arrest.
    Tanja Morson’s
    testimony was never heard
  • A characteristic of a “show” trial based on an unsound plea is the reiteration, day after day, of the accused’s wicked deeds, accompanied by the accused’s abject public remorse and humiliating acknowledgement of having committed disgusting and unforgiveable acts. The wretched defendant played his humiliating role to perfection by standing trial on the basis of a defence statement derived from an improbable theory that had been published in The Mirror nine days before his arrest and attributed to unnamed detectives.
  • A total of 19 prosecution witnesses testified during the trial, and there were 17 witnesses statements read out in court on behalf of the prosecution. Apart from the defendant himself, Mr. Clegg called only one witness for the defence, and that was the pathologist Nat Cary, whom he had inherited from Crossman’s defence team. He also produced one witness statement from Geoffrey Hardyman. The judge failed to explain to the jury that a statement not made in oral evidence is hearsay.
    Christopher Jefferies’s
    testimony was never heard
  • The jury did not hear ALL the evidence. Despite being conspicuous persons in the case, the testimony of neither Christopher Jefferies, Tanja Morson, nor David & Teresa Yeates was heard in any form. If the court had heard the landlord’s two witness statements, the case against the defendant would have collapsed.
  • The court was told in detail about the dog-walkers who allegedly discovered Joanna’s body on the verge of a country lane, and about the straps and broom-handle used in raising it from the ground, but the jury did not hear about the four pumping tenders and 23 fire & rescue officers actually called out to recover her body from somewhere that must have been obviously much less accessible than the court heard.
    The jury never heard about the four
    pumping tenders and 23 fire & rescue
    officers called out to recover the body
  • Mr. Clegg had rehearsed beforehand with them the questions he would put to two key prosecution witnesses, namely forensic scientist Lindsay Lennen (whose unsound DNA evidence he chivalrously helped her justify) and prison officer masquerading as a chaplain Peter Brotherton (with whom he contrived the defendant’s false confession). Mr. Justice Field failed to stop Mr. Clegg from deceiving and manipulating the jury by his cross-examination methods.
    Vincent Tabak
    explaining how crowds
    of people flow in
    mosques and
    other public spaces
  • The prosecution showed jurors several videos from CCTV showing Joanna Yeates and Greg Reardon setting off for work through the snow together on the day it was alleged that she was killed and of the cheerful victim that same evening, and numerous gruesome photos of her body after it was found. Jurors were also shown videos from CCTV of Vincent Tabak striding through the Asda supermarket like a zombie at a time when the prosecution claimed he had her body in a car outside. The defence made no attempt to redress the balance by showing videos of the cheerful defendant playing with his seven nieces and nephews, doing research at Eindhoven University, being awarded his Ph.D or explaining to clients all over the world how to use his employer’s advanced computer simulation products.
  • Some of the videos shown to the court had evidently been edited, and at least one had been manipulated to remove the timestamp. No named witness under oath (in court or outside) testified to the integrity of these videos as evidence.
  • No witness under oath testified to the integrity of the e-mail exchanges between the defendant and his girlfriend nor of the evidence of the victim’s brief visits to three different shops during her walk home.
  • On the 3rd day of the trial, showman William Clegg QC sent the jurors on a trail of “murder tourism” on the pretext of evaluating whether screams from inside Joanna’s flat could have been heard across the road. His real intention was to whip up their passions at what they had been deceived into believing was the scene of the tragedy.
    If Joanna really had been killed here, then scientists
    would have found traces of her blood and Vincent
    Tabak’s DNA in her flat, and the jury would
    certainly have been told this
  • Despite the enormous and prolonged scientific presence, there was no expert witness testimony to the results of the forensic examination of Joanna’s flat. Had she been killed there by Vincent Tabak, as he alleged in his implausible testimony, then traces of her blood and his DNA would have been found there, and the court would certainly have been told this.
  • Mr. Clegg admitted a Prosecution forensic statement that 11 fibres alleged to come from Vincent Tabak’s black coat were found on Joanna’s body (according to Sky News on Twitter). This meant that the jury did not hear arguments about the probability that these fibres emanated from this particular coat rather than from a garment worn by a customer in the Bristol Ram pub or any other person who might have dumped the body after vainly trying to lift it up over a stone wall. Such an action would certainly have left some traces of Joanna’s blood on the killer’s clothes, yet the court was not told about any results yielded by the forensic examination of Vincent Tabak’s glasses, his black coat and other clothes, and the interior of Tanja Morson’s Renault Megane, to which traces would have been transferred from his clothes.
    The evidence of the fibres alleged
    to come from his black coat
    was never tested
  • There was no statement about the alleged telephone tip-off from the sobbing girl on 19th January 2011 that an unnamed police press spokesman at the time had alleged led them to arrest the defendant. Instead, the court heard that it had been the “incriminating” behaviour of the defendant and of the women accompanying him to Schiphol three weeks earlier that had first aroused the police’s suspicions.
There were so many holes in the trial of Vincent Tabak that it resembled an Emmental cheese.

    Accredited journalists were authorised to tweet the proceedings from the Court, but members of the public were forbidden even to take notes on paper. At one point, Judge Field stopped the trial and instructed an usher to remind an elderly man in the public gallery, George W., who was writing, of this exceptional prohibition. It can have had only one purpose, namely, to release the court from the obligation to conduct its proceedings with transparency. 

    If you have tears, prepare to shed them now

    On 14th October 2011 the jury were also shown a succession of gruesome photos of Joanna's blood-stained body and her injuries. The Home Office pathologist told the court that bruising can occur only while the heart is beating. The media never questioned the validity of the defendant’s faked confession, and the journalists implied that the tears he shed in court were due to remorse over his deed. His tears were more likely to be due to the realisation that, after seeing in court the injuries Joanna had sustained, of which he had not been forewarned, and for which he had prepared no defence, the jury would never accept the unsound manslaughter plea for which he had been tricked into standing trial by his own defence lawyers.

    Forgive them, for they knew not what they were doing

    “It is by no means easy to be a good listener... For most people it needs long and patient training... But a man who has been trained for years to listen to evidence in the Law Courts has learnt to pay careful attention to what he hears, and to try to interpret it... To listen with a real intention to understand needs for most people a  big effort of attention and concentration, which some are unable or unwilling to give.” (The Rt. Hon. Sir Alfred Bucknill, 1953)

    Being a jury member is one of the most stressing functions in a criminal trial, with the exception of the defendant. Everyone else in court has some stress-relieving activity to perform from time to time, but the jury is completely passive and must concentrate on the evidence they hear. Vincent Tabak’s prosecution successfully alleviated the jury’s stress by treating them to a soap opera in which the details of the evil defendant’s appalling treatment of the hapless victim was reiterated day after day.

    There is nothing to like about my client

    For a defendant with Vincent Tabak’s background his defence QC had exceptionally comprehensive evidence of irreproachable good character on which he could have drawn to mitigate the disgusting picture painted by the prosecution, yet Mr Clegg had understaken to throw his client to the wolves by entering into an unreported prior deal with the prosecution on zero character evidence.

    The jury heard no evidence of the
    defendant’s good character from
    his employer Dr. Shrikant Sharma
    Although Vincent Tabak himself told the jury briefly about his high scientific education in the Netherlands, his Ph.D, the highly-paid job in Bath to which it had led, and the girlfriend he had met after settling in the UK, his defence counsel throughout the entire “show trial made no attempt to emphasize his client’s exceptionally good character, nor reveal to the jury the sympathetic personality that emerged from the preface to the defendant’s own Ph.D thesis. Grotesquely, he even told the jury that his client was disgusting, and that there was nothing to like about him. Astonishingly, neither he nor the prosecutor called the one authoritative witness who had known Vincent Tabak for several years, Dr. Shrikant Sharma, to testify in person about the accused’s personality, consideration for others, temperament, or history of violent behaviour if any. Amazingly, no expert psychiatric witness was produced to explain how a highly intelligent, gentle, considerate, civilized man could suddenly and without warning have turned into the lying, deceitful monster that the prosecution constantly insisted he was, the defence accepted he had become, and the jury agreed he was. No witnesses at all testified to the defendant’s exceptionally good character. Did the prosecution impose this as a condition for not being allowed to produce the so-called “bad character evidence”? Was this deal made on 5th May 2011 and subject to permanent reporting restrictions?

    Why did he slay this fragrant English rose?

    The entrance to Durnford Quarry in Longwood Lane.
    The jury was taken to see the spot where they were told
    Joanna’s body had been dumped
    The jury probably reached their verdict on the basis of the 43 injuries to the victim’s body (most of them minor – some of them perhaps inflicted 48 hours before her death, but the defence made no attempt to cross-examine any of the four witnesses whose answers could have planted this possibility in the jury’s minds), the extensive signs of a struggle in the flat described by the boyfriend (in contrast to the absence of signs of a struggle reported in the media at the time of her death), and their hatred for Vincent Tabak engendered by the day (12th October) they had spent retracing Miss Yeates’s last journey from the Ram Pub in the centre of Bristol to the flat where this lovely English rose had lived so cheerfully, and viewing the unforgiving roadside by a quarry where they had been told her body had been dumped. Why did the judge Mr. Justice Field allow these highly emotive and unorthodox excursions? Why did the defence team encourage and allow them?

    From The Guardian: Earlier on Friday [28th October 2011], the jury had passed a handwritten note scribbled on a page of a torn-out notebook to [Mr. Justice] Field. In response to the note, the judge repeated parts of his summing up relating to the intention of Tabak, a Dutch engineer. [Mr. Justice] Field told the six men and six women on the jury that the issue to be decided was the defendant’s intention when he used “unlawful violence” against Yeates. The question they had to address was: “Did he intend to kill her or cause her really serious bodily harm?” [Mr. Justice] Field told them they had to examine the evidence they had heard. “I emphasise it is the evidence you heard and nothing else.” The judge said if the jury was sure that, when he strangled Yeates, Tabak had intended to kill her or cause her really serious harm, the verdict would be guilty. If they were not sure, it had to be not guilty.

    The trial judge, Mr Justice Field, called the jury back into court one at Bristol crown court at noon after it had been deliberating for 11 hours. He told the jury to continue to try to reach a unanimous verdict on whether Tabak was guilty of murdering Joanna Yeates. But he said if they could not, he would accept a verdict on which at least 10 agreed. The jury was sent back to continue deliberating.

    Four of the jurors had wanted to return a verdict of Manslaughter, but two of these were at length persuaded by the other eight to vote for a verdict of Murder before they eventually returned a 10-2 majority verdict after nearly 14 hours’ deliberation. In returning a verdict of Murder, these ten jurors decided that Vincent Tabak intended to kill Joanna Yeates. As they were aware that he did not assault her sexually, why did they reach that conclusion? The evidence heard in court had given them no clue to the basis for the intent that they decided he must have had. Did these jurors guess that his intentions were connected with robbery, a ransome demand, blackmail, drugs trafficking, illegal bribery of an overseas architectural client, spying for a secret agency, organized crime, mistaken identity by a contract killer, or what?

    The orgy of humiliation

    An orgy of humiliation
    The judge used a device of amazingly cynical ingenuity to prevent the journalists from reporting the way in which Vincent Tabak’s trial had been rigged once they had worked it out after the trial, so that the public still cannot know that this has happened. Releasing the extremely private sensitive personal allegations about Vincent Tabak’s porn and prostitutes to the entire nation as if they were facts rather than fabrications without permission was illegal under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. These allegations had nothing to do with the case, because the jury heard unambiguous evidence that neither rape nor consensual sex were the accused’s motive for the crime, and no witnesses have been named who could testify to the truth of the allegations.

    The orgy of the public humiliation of Dr. Tabak as an alleged sexual pervert with a strangulation fetish after the trial was deliberately instigated by the judge in collaboration with the prosecution and the defence. It had the effect of giving the news media a very strong incentive never to reveal this obvious miscarriage of justice. If Dr. Tabak ever lifts his head again, the media all risk libel settlements that would make the landlord’s look like pin money by comparison. The judge’s purpose in instigating the orgy of humiliation was probably also to prevent the members of the jury from working out after the trial that they had convicted an innocent man.

    Brunel’s suspension bridge across the Avon Gorge
    at Clifton, now blighted by the scapegoating of
    Vincent Tabak
    Immediately after the trial was over, the jurors were told by all the British media – including the serious ones – that vital “evidence” had been kept from them by a judge anxious to protect the jurors from the knowledge that the man they had condemned was a “reprehensible” sexual pervert with a strangulation fetish. What agenda did the media have, apart from earning money from salacious sensation? They knew very well that the “good character evidence” had been kept from the jury, and that the “bad character evidence” consisted of unsubstatiated fabrications. What more did the journalists think the jury could have done than find Vincent Tabak guilty of murder? The jurors ought to have been among the first, therefore, to ask themselves about the fairness of the trial. They had watched the accused man himself and been exposed close up to all the holes in the case apart from those that the lawyers had plugged with deceipt and manipulation (except that they had not been given his doctoral thesis with its sympathetic Preface to read). It would be very surprising if some of them - especially the four who doubted that he was a murderer - have not realized by now that they got it wrong and that the real killer is still out there, perhaps even in the neighbourhood where they live. That neighbourhood will continue to be blighted by hatred of an innocent man until justice has been done.

    Calendar of the trial in Bristol Crown Court October 2011

    Tuesday 4th October

    Wednesday 5th October

    • 18 jurors addressed by the judge in the presence of Vincent Tabak.
    • Prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC makes a failed application to have his allegations of the defendant’s viewing of adult pornographic videos admitted as evidence.

    Thursday 6th October

    • 12 jurors sworn in, in the presence of Vincent Tabak

    Monday 10th October (Day 1)

    • Jurors see videos from CCTV of Joanna Yeates and Greg Reardon going to work on the day the Prosecution claimed she was killed.
      Joanna Yeates in the Bristol Ram
    • Jurors see videos from CCTV of Joanna Yeates inside the Bristol Ram pub.
    • Jurors see a photo of Joanna’s blood-stained pink top.
    • Jurors see a video from CCTV of Joanna Yeates in Waitrose.
    • Jurors see a video from CCTV of Joanna Yeates buying two bottles of cider in Bargain Booze in Regent Street, Clifton Village.
    • Jurors see a video from CCTV of Joanna Yeates buying a pizza in Tesco Express in Regent Street, Clifton Village.
      Joanna Yeates entering Waitrose
    • Jurors see a video from CCTV of witnesses who heard Joanna scream on the night she died.
    • Jurors see a video from CCTV showing a cyclist alleged to be Vincent Tabak on his way home from Temple Meads Station.
    • Jurors see a video from CCTV of a car alleged to be a silver Renault Megane driven by Vincent Tabak through Bristol around 10 p.m.
    • Jurors see videos with a date-stamp but no time-stamp from CCTV of Vincent Tabak in Asda.
      Joanna Yeates
      entering Bargain Booze
    • Jurors see videos from CCTV of a car alleged to be a silver Renault Megane driven by Vincent Tabak along roads allegedly leading to Longwood Lane.
    • The court was shown a clip from CCTV showing Vincent Tabak and Tanja Morson arm-in-arm at a fast food outlet where they made a brief stop on their way home after he had collected her after her works party.
    • The court heard details and a muffled transcript of Greg Reardon’s 999 call to police at 00.45am on the 20th December 2010, in which he said his girlfriend was missing.
      Vincent Tabak in Asda. There is a blur at the lower
      left-hand corner of the video, where the time of
      capture should have been visible.
    • Vincent Tabak’s and Tanja Morson’s email exchanges at work in the week after the killing are read out.
    • The court was shown photographs of the place where Joanna’s body was alleged to have been dumped.
    • The court was shown photographs of the inside of Joanna Yeates’s flat. These showed the boots she wore the evening she was at the Bristol Ram pub, and her purse on the table.
    • The court was shown photos of the body covered in snow.

    Tuesday 11th October (Day 2)

    Wednesday 12th October (Day 3)

    Inside Joanna Yeates’s flat at 44 Canynge Road.
    Was the use of dangerous chemicals inside the flat
    just for show, or had technicians been told to eliminate
    possible forensic traces permanently?
    • Jurors visit Longwood Lane and retrace the last leg of Joanna Yeates’s route home from the Hophouse Pub to 44 Canynge Road, Clifton, together with the judge and journalists, but without Vincent Tabak.

    Thursday 13th October (Day 4)

    • Nicholas Rowland was the prosecuting junior counsel who conducted the jury through the day’s witnesses.
    • Darragh Bellew, a landscape architect who had been at the Bristol Ram with Joanna, testifies that she told him she planned to bake some cakes and bread. He also testified that Greg Reardon had rung him at around midnight on 19th Dec. 2010 to tell him that she was missing.
      Darragh Bellew
    • Jurors saw a video from CCTV showing Darragh Bellew and Joanna leaving their office on Park St. and using a cashpoint before walking on to the Bristol Ram.
    • Statement from Michael Brown, architectural assistant at BDP, read out. He recounted that she told him that she didn’t have any plans for the weekend, talked about her plans for Christmas, and appeared bored.
    • Statement read out from architect Samuel Huscroft, who was not at the Bristol Ram, but had received a text from Joanna.
    • Statement read out from Peter Lindsell, a former BDP employee, who said that Miss Yeates texted him that night.
    • Statement read out from Matthew Wood, a friend of Miss Yeates’s brother Chris, who had exchanged texts with Joanna.
    • Father George Henwood told the court that he had set out on his usual dog walk and had exchanged words with a young woman who he later realised must have been Joanna.
    • Mr. Clegg cross-examined Fr. Henwood.
      Fr. George Henwood
    • Statement read out from office manager Elizabeth Chandler about Joanna dreading the weekend on the evening of 17th December 2010.
    • Statement read out from teacher Matthew Philips that he heard a commotion from across the road while waiting to go into the house at 53 Canynge Road.
    • Statement read out from Warren Sweet that he arrived at the same party together with Matthew Phillips at about 8.30 p.m. but heard neither screams nor a commotion.
    • Harry Walker testified about screams while he was watching TV with his fiancée.
    • Statement read out from Andrew Lillie, host of the dinner party on 15th January 2011. He recounted that Vincent had tried to lighten the atmosphere by telling them that the police had searched his and Tanja’s flat before Christmas, “opening a drawer so they could look for a body.”
      Harry Walker
    • Statement read out from Sarah Maddock, a solicitor, recounting the defendant’s remark about “a crazy detached person”, and that Vincent Tabak & Tanja Morson had held hands under the table at a dinner party on 15th January 2011.
    • Statement read out from Louise Apthorpe, testifying that Vincent Tabak was cheerful at the dinner party on15th January 2011. She reported that Tanja Morson had told the other guests about their Schiphol interview, where she felt that her own words had been twisted by the police. Dr. Abthorpe recalled commenting that evening: “I wonder how the murderer must be feeling... If it was me, I wouldn’t be able to sleep”.
    • Florian Lehman testified about screams coming from the direction of 44 Canynge Road.
    • Zoe Lehman testified about screams coming from the direction of 44 Canynge Road.
    • Mr. Clegg cross-examined Zoe Lehman.
    • Statement from Linda Marland read out about Vincent Tabak’s having been silent and “disinterested”at her daughter’s 24th birthday party on18th December 2010.

    Friday 14th October (Day 5)

    • The judge told the jurors that “in the interests of justice” they would have to see the images of Joanna’s body.
      Dr. Russell Delaney
    • Statement read out from Daniel Birch whose dog Roxy he and his wife had been walking when they found the body.
    • Statement read out from the first police officer on the scene, Martin Faithfull.
    • Home Office pathologist Russell Delaney described the body.
    • Forensics co-ordinator Andrew Mott, who had been among the first to be called to the scene in Longood Lane on 25th December 2010, recounts the precautions he took and the method he used to remove the body, which had been frozen to the ground.
      Andrew Mott
    • Mr. Clegg cross-examined Andrew Mott.

    Monday 17th October (Day 6)

    • Mr Lickley questioned Russell Delaney.
    • Mr Lickley read out extracts from a statement signed by Vincent Tabak on 22nd September 2011 describing how Joanna came to be strangled.
    • Mr William Clegg QC questioned Russell Delaney.
    • Rebecca Scott, Joanna Yeates’s best friend, testified.
      Rebecca Scott
    • Greg Reardon testified before and after lunch about his departure for Sheffield and the state of the flat on his return. Just before the adjournment for lunch, the court was shown a video from CCTV showing Joanna Yeates and Greg Reardon setting off for work through the snow on the day she was killed. During his testimony the court was shown a drawing he had made to illustrate where items were found in the flat on his return.
      Greg Reardon
    • Mr. Lickley cross-examined Joanna’s boyfriend.
    • DC Karen Thomas testified about her two interviews with Vincent Tabak, including her trip to Schiphol.
    • A statement from police officer Anneliese Jackson was read to the court about her being called out to Canynge Road following Greg Reardon’s missing persons phone call. The jury was sent out while a point of law was discussed. Then her second statement was heard. Then the jury was sent out again.
      DC Karen Thomas
    • A statement from DC Simon Mills was read out about his interview with Vincent Tabak and Tanja Morson about their movements on the evening Joanna Yeates disappeared. It is not clear when this interview took place.
    • A statement from Shrikant Sharma was read out about Vincent Tabak’s difficulty in concentrating at work. Tabak asked his team leader to go easy on him, as he was under stress from the investigation.

    Tuesday 18th October (Day 7)

    • The jury heard about Vincent Tabak’s questioning after he was arrested.
      Forensic Archaeologist
      Dr. Karl Harrison
    • A statement was read out by forensic archaeologist Dr. Karl Harrison, a Forensic Archaeologist at Cranfield University, describing how Joanna’s body was covered with leaves.
    • A photo of Joanna’s body, lying fully clothed in the foetal position, with her pink top pushed up, was shown to the jury while forensic scientist Tania Nickson (School of Defence & Security, Cranfield University, Shrivenham) testified about the bloodstain on the wall in Longwood Lane.
    • Mr Clegg cross-examined Tania Nickson briefly.
      Tania Nickson
    • Lindsay Lennen, a body fluids and DNA specialist on the staff of LGC Forensics, testified about the DNA evidence.
    • Mr Clegg cross-examined Lindsay Lennen.
    • DC Geoffrey Colvin testified about how he arrested Vincent Tabak and took him to Trinity Road police station.
    • Statement read out from nurse Ruth Booth-Pearson about her medical examination of Vincent Tabak.
    • Salvation Army prison chaplain Peter Brotherton testified about his three conversations in prison with Vincent Tabak.
      Lindsay Lennen
    • Mr Clegg cross-examined Peter Brotherton.
    • Dr Jennifer Miller (director at Northlight Heritage, Glasgow) testified about the contents of Joanna’s stomach.
    • Maria and Peter Brown both gave statements saying people had attended a Christmas party they held at their top-floor flat, opposite Miss Yeates’s flat, on the night she disappeared.
    • Statement read out from Glen O’Hare, a lecturer friend of Tanja Morson’s, about the defendant’s behaviour at a dinner party that the witness had hosted on 20th December 2010.
      Peter Brotherton. He did not tell
      the jury that he is a high ranking
      prison officer from another prison
    • Admissions: Statement about 11 fibres alleged to be from Vincent Tabak’s black wool coat found on Joanna’s body and an alleged match between other fibres found on her clothes and body and the lining of the boot of the car he was driving (according to Sky News on Twitter).
    • DC Richard Barnston testified about his tape-recorded interview with Vincent Tabak following his arrest.
      DC Paul Derrick
    • DC Paul Derrick testified, denying that there was tension between himself and Vincent Tabak’s female duty solicitor.
    • Mr Clegg cross-questioned DC Paul Derrick as to whether she was out of her depth – “No”.

    Wednesday 19th October (Day 8)

    • Statement from PC Steve Archer, who was guarding 44 Canynge Rd on 2nd January 2011 when the defendant and his girlfriend came to pick up some things.
    • Prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC makes a failed application to have his allegations of the defendant’s viewing of adult pornographic videos admitted as evidence.
      Lyndsey Farmery.
      She did not tell the
      jury that she is a
      Criminal Intelligence
    • Jury heard from Mr Lickley and Lyndsey Farmery that Vincent Tabak looked up all sorts of things on the internet.
    • DC Mark Luther, officer in charge of the case, takes the jury through photos of Vincent Tabak’s flat.
    • Mr Clegg opens the case for the defence.

    Thursday 20th October (Day 9)

    • Vincent Tabak testifies for his first day as a witness, prompted by Mr. Clegg to talk about his life, education, career and girlfriend prior to the day of Joanna's death.
    • Mr. Clegg cross-examined him about the death of Joanna and his disposal of her body.
    • Mr Lickley cross-examined Vincent Tabak about his meeting with Joanna.

    Friday 21st October (Day 10)

    • Mr Lickley cross-examined Vincent Tabak, on his second day as a witness, about his meeting with Joanna and how she came to be strangled.
      Dr. Nat Cary
    • Mr Lickley cross-examined Vincent Tabak about his dumping of the body.
    • The court was shown a photo taken of the scar on Vincent Tabak’s arm after he had been arrested.
    • Dr Nat Cary testified about his examination of the body for the defence.
    • Mr Clegg cross-examined Dr Nat Cary.
    • The court was shown a close-up photo of Joanna’s face, a photo of an abrasion over Joanna’s lip, a photo of an injury on the left side of Joanna’s collar bone, a photo of marks on the back of her neck, photos of injuries on Joanna’s “trunk”, a photo of a clear mark on Joanna’s right wrist, a photo of Joanna’s left arm, showing marks on her left hand, a photo showing the marks on Joanna’s ankle.
    • Mr. Lickley cross-examined Dr. Nat Cary.
    • The court was shown a photo of an abrasion on Joanna’s cheek.

    Monday 24th October (Day 11)

    • Statement from Geoffrey Hardyman read out to jurors by junior defence counsel Dean Armstrong that he did not hear screams.
      Geoffrey Hardyman
    • Mr Clegg formally closed the case for the defence.

    Tuesday 25th October (Day 12)

    • Mr. Lickley is believed to have made a failed application to cross-examine the defendant about his alleged contacts to call-girls.
    • Mr Lickley delivered his final speech to the jury.
    • Mr Clegg delivered his summing-up speech to the jury, “I am not going to ask you to like my client…”
    • Interesting arguments between Mr Lickley and Mr Clegg about contested points relevant to the intent to kill etc.

    Wednesday 26th October (Day 13)

    Thursday 27th October (Day 14)

    • The jury remained out.

    Friday 28th October (Day 15)

    • The jury passed a handwritten note to Mr. Justice Field.
    • In response to the note, the judge repeated parts of his summing up.
    • The jury deliberated.
    • The judge called the jury back at noon. He told the jury to continue to try to reach a unanimous verdict, but if they could not, he would accept a verdict on which at least 10 agreed.
    • The jury was sent back to continue deliberating.
    • The jury delivered its verdict.
    • Sentence was passed.