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 search for a scapegoat

A scapegoat is a person who is deliberately sacrificed by being “thrown to the wolves”. The expression originated in a ritual described in Chapter 16 of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. In popular parlance he is often referred to as a “patsy” when he is the victim of the abuse of civil power.

The scapegoating of Vincent Tabak by the CPS, Avon & Somerset Constabulary, Buro Happold and the British and Netherlands news media is explained below, following the Timeline for the whole case. This post ends with a bullet list of the evidence for the corruption in this case. 


Newly-qualified landscape
architect Joanna Yeates
11th December 2010: Unreported by any national media, Ciara Richards, 14, goes missing in Hounslow.
13th December 2010: Unreported by any national media, Natalie Bailey, 34, is last seen alive in Dartford.
15th December 2010: Unreported by any national media, Serena Beakhurst, 14, goes missing in London.
16th December 2010: Architect Joanna Yeates, 25, stays home from work, reportedly because of a cold.
Joanna with her boyfriend
Greg Reardon
17th December 2010: Greg Reardon, 27, comes home from work, obtains help with starting the car he shares with his girlfriend Joanna Yeates (and an alibi) from his 65-year-old landlord at 44 Canynge Road, Clifton, Christopher Jefferies, and a neighbour, and tells them that he is about to set off for Sheffield. Joanna Yeates has Christmas drinks with colleagues after work at the Bristol Ram pub, but leaves them at 8.00 p.m., buys a frozen pizza, and makes her way to Clifton on on foot. The last reported sighting of her has her walking along Canynge Road. Neither Vincent Tabak, 32, who lives in a flat adjoining Joanna’s, nor the landlord, has an alibi for that evening. Unreported by any national media, Nathan Tomlinson, 21, is last seen alive at a works Christmas party in Manchester.
Vincent Tabak’s girlfriend
Tanja Morson
18th December 2010: Vincent Tabak collects his girlfriend Tanja Morson, 33, from the centre of Bristol around 01.30 a.m. after she has been at her firm’s Christmas party. Heavy snow falls. He helps the landlord move his car in the snow and notices that it is facing the opposite way round. In the evening Tanja Morson and Vincent Tabak attend a party at the Pitcher & Piano to celebrate the 24th birthday of Elizabeth Marland.
19th December 2010: Some time during the weekend, Joanna probably shares her pizza with someone else, possibly at his place. Greg Reardon probably returns to their flat and surprises her in bed with another man. The lover probably dresses and leaves. A struggle ensues before Joanna can finish dressing. She probably flees from the flat clutching one sock in her hand, takes refuge in a car, but is killed there. Her body is dumped at Failand.
20th December 2010: Greg Reardon reports Joanna Yeates’s disappearance to the police at 12.45 a.m., nearly five hours after he claims he has returned from Sheffield to find her missing from their flat. The head of the Major Crime Review Team, Det. Supt. Mark Saunders, is made leader of the search for her, which is codenamed “Operation Braid”, after a video game about the quest for a princess who has been snatched by a horrible and evil monster.
Joanna’s boyfriend and family
in an emotive video appeal
21st December 2010: Police take a statement from each of the occupants of 44 Canynge Road. On instructions from senior officers, Avon & Somerset Constabulary produces an emotive video appeal featuring Joanna Yeates’s boyfriend, brother and parents that is featured by all the national media. Christopher Jefferies phones the police to say that he recalls seeing Joanna with one or two other people. The Independent will note that none of the other missing persons mentioned receives comparable attention. In Colne, Lancashire, unreported by any national media, Anna Banks, 23, is strangled by jealous boyfriend Daniel Lancaster, 24.
22nd December 2010: Winter Solstice. Police release a separate video in which Greg Reardon talks about Joanna and her disappearance. Det. Supt. Mark Saunders holds his last press conference as leader of “Operation Braid”. A detective calls on Mr. Jefferies to take his 2nd statement. Several factors, including the landlord’s 2nd statement and the missing pizza, probably lead detectives to question Joanna’s boyfriend further to find out the identity of the third person and the circumstances of her disappearance. They also speculate that her personal connection to the police through her godfather is the reason why so much prominence has been given to her disappearance. Police encourage Greg Reardon to keep a low public profile, and they tell the press anonymously that he is not suspected of any involvement in Joanna’s disappearance. Senior officers produce a second video appeal without the boyfriend, in which Joanna’s parents for the first time mention that they believe she has been abducted.
DCI Gareth Bevan,
from the Melanie Hall
murder investigation team,
with a pizza like Joanna’s
23rd December 2010: The video featuring Greg Reardon is withdrawn from the internet. Carefully avoiding any mention of the possibility that Joanna might have eaten her pizza, a DCI Gareth Bevan tells a press conference that no trace of it has been found in her flat. Police search the flat of Vincent Tabak and Tanja Morson, who then drive to Cambridge after work to spend Christmas with her family.
24th December 2010: Chief Supt. Jon Stratford becomes the police’s spokesman for “Operation Braid”. He releases to the news media the CCTV that shows Joanna buying the pizza in Tesco.
Joanna’s body had been found
25th December 2010: Chief Supt. Jon Stratford announces that Joanna’s body has been found by dog walkers under the melting snow in Longwood Lane. It is probably well hidden and inaccessible, since four fire engines have to pump all afternoon before the pathologist can get near it, but the public is told that she was lying on the verge. The police have probably known of its location for several days. The case becomes a murder investigation. The fact that the body is frozen to the ground and is fully clothed except for one sock reinforces suspicions about her boyfriend, but these are not aired publicly. Detective Constable Karen Thomas telephones Joanna’s neighbour Vincent Tabak to interview him, but learns that he and his girlfriend are in Cambridge and plan to travel to the Netherlands after Christmas.
26th December 2010: After a second post-mortem, revealing bruises all over her body, it becomes clear that Joanna has not been sexually assaulted, making her boyfriend an even likelier suspect.
27th December 2010: Wearing a woolly hat and with several days’ growth of beard, he makes his first public appearance for several days, on a visit to Longwood Lane in the company of her parents and brother, to place flowers at the spot where her body was discovered.
DCI Phil Jones
28th December 2010: DCI Phil Jones tells journalists that “Operation Braid” is now a murder inquiry and he is the officer in charge of it. He states that Joanna’s boyfriend is being treated as a witness, not as a suspect. Police leak the landlord’s sighting of Joanna to Sky News, who report that it took place on the Friday evening. Vincent Tabak and Tanja Morson drive via the Channel tunnel to the Netherlands to stay with members of his family.
29th December 2010: Besieged by the press, Christopher Jefferies angrily refutes their garbled version of what he had told the police. Watching the TV news from the UK in the Netherlands, Vincent Tabak and his girlfriend are astonished by the discrepancies between what he had previously told them and what he is now saying to journalists. The Sun carried the exclusive unattributed statement that “it was understood police discounted the possibility of Greg Reardon’s involvement in Joanna’s death after studying his credit card receipts at petrol stations and examining his phone records”. The front page of The Mirror demonstrates graphically that the newspaper suspects the boyfriend. The press is silent about the inquest into Joanna’s death that is initially opened at Avon Coroner’s Court, Flax Bourton, and adjourned the same day.
Chief Constable
Colin Port
30th December 2010: Joanna’s landlord Christopher Jefferies is arrested at dawn on suspicion of murdering her, diverting the attention of the media away from her boyfriend. Aware that they have not found any forensic evidence to incriminate the landlord, senior managers at the private firm in charge of matching crime scene DNA, LGC Forensics, discuss how to take advantage of this development. Vincent Tabak and his girlfriend recall that they had helped the landlord move one of his cars in the snow on the morning after Joanna’s evening at the Bristol Ram pub, and telephone A & S Constabulary to tell them about the discrepancies in the landlord’s accounts of his sightings. Chief Constable Colin Port authorizes DC Karen Thomas to take a colleague to the Netherlands to find out what she can about Vincent Tabak and collect a sample of his DNA. He warns her to disregard the rule requiring her to caution Vincent Tabak that he is a suspect, and reassures her that she need not worry about the Dutch authorities.
31st December 2010: Vincent Tabak drives to Schiphol with his sister Eileen and his girlfriend to meet DC Karen Thomas, who interviews him for a total of 6 hours and takes a swab of his saliva and 18 pages of notes. The public is not told that detectives have travelled to Holland in connection with the investigation. A magistrate authorises the police to hold the landlord for a further 72 hours. Dr. Delaney carried out a further examination of Joanna’s body.
1st January 2011: Christopher Jefferies is released on bail at tea-time. This confirms the suspicions of managers at LGC Forensics that police are looking for a scapegoat, and they contact The Mail to offer them an exclusive story about the single DNA sample they claim to have found on Joanna’s body.
2nd January 2011: Accompanied by one of his journalists, the editor of The Mail, Paul Dacre, meets with Chief Constable Colin Port and DCC Amanda Hirst to negotiate an agreement about the content of the DNA story. Vincent Tabak and Tanja Morson return to England and camp out in an apartment in Aberdeen Road belonging to a friend of Vincent Tabak’s who is away in South America, Emily Williams, and her sister Lucy Williams, to escape the distress caused by continued harassing police activity at 44 Canynge Road.
3rd January 2011: The story appears in The Mail as a call-out box, alleging that DNA was found on Joanna’s body, and that efforts had already been made to match it with potential and actual suspects. It is deliberately vague about the sources of the story. All the media carry reports of a statement by DC Phil Jones that Joanna’s body showed no signs of sexual assault but that he did not rule out a sexual motive for her killing. He also appeals to the driver of a car (possibly a light-coloured 4-wheel-drive) he claimed had been noticed driving repeatedly up and down the same stretch of road on the night of 17th/18th December 2010 by an unnamed couple walking along Longwood Lane, Failand, who he alleged had become so suspicious of that they had subsequently reported it to the police.
DCI Phil Jones with a sock
similar to the one found on
Joanna’s left foot
5th January 2011: Serena Beakhurst is found alive and well in Wandsworth. A & S Constabulary reveals that one of Joanna’s socks was missing, and bans ITN from a press conference in response to the station’s criticism of the police. About this time, a senior officer at A & S Constabulary persuades a Salvation Army adherent, supervising officer from Whitemoor Prison, Cambrdigeshire, Peter Brotherton, to volunteer for a short tour of duty as chaplain at Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire.
7th January 2011: The Sun offers a £50,000 rewards for information that results in the conviction of Joanna’s killer. If the newspaper ever paid out to anyone, this was never reported.
11th January 2011: The Mirror publishes a curious theory by unattributed detectives that Joanna was killed by someone who had a secret crush on her and who “flipped” when she rejected his advances. Nine months later, this scenario will form the basis of the defence case. The Sun carries an unattributed story announcing that forensic tests, embracing soil and pollen testing, were being carried out on a highly significant piece of evidence thought to have been dropped by Joanna’s killer.
12th January 2011: The Sun carries an unattributed story predicting a breakthrough from DNA from saliva found on Joanna’s body.
13th January 2011: The Mail carries an unattributed story predicting a breakthrough from DNA from saliva found on Joanna’s body. The Mail also carries an unattributed report that a high-level “28-day review” could be carried out by a senior officer, possibly from another force, if the murder investigation does not make progress during the next 11 days.
Sunday Express
journalist Hilary Douglas
15th January 2011: Vincent Tabak encounters Sunday Express journalist Hilary Douglas in Canynge Road, and gives her a brief interview, which her editor rejects. Tanja Morson and Vincent Tabak attend a dinner party hosted by Andrew Lillie. The couple sit holding hands under the table, and Tanja tells another guest, Louise Abthorpe, that she and Vincent plan to marry and start a family in the course of the year.
16th January 2011: The Mirror carries a story linking LGC Forensics to the murder of Rachel Nickell and the firm’s involvement in the Joanna Yeates case. Dr. James Walker is identified as the scientist in charge of the firm’s DNA team. Unattributed statements claim that results of DNA swabs from the body are expected within days, but can be used only after an arrest. There is also an unattributed statement that a formal inquiry 30 days after Joanna’s death is not anticipated. The Sunday Express carries an unattributed claim that a tiny sample of DNA has been found on Joanna’s lips.
17th January 2011: The Mail carries a story predicting a breakthrough from ‘partial’ DNA on Joanna’s body and giving their source as LGC Forensics. Dr. Delaney observed an examination of Joanna’s body by a Dr. White (presumably the forensic pathologist Hugh White).
18th January 2011: Joanna’s parents deliver an appeal specially scripted by the police to prick the conscience of someone close to their daughter’s killer who has been keeping quiet about what they know. An unnamed police source alleges that analysis of the contents of her stomach has shown that she did not eat the pizza.
DC Paul Derrick
20th January 2011: Two days before a high-level review of “Operation Braid” would have been required, a shocked and confused Vincent Tabak is arrested by DC Geoffrey Colvin at dawn at the flat in Aberdeen Road, on suspicion of killing Joanna Yeates. His glasses, his mountain bike and Tanja Morson’s car are among the items seized by police for forensic examination. He is stripped, examined and photographed by nurse Ruth Booth-Pearson. On the advice of his duty solicitor from Crossman of Radstock, he answers “No comment” to most of the questions put to him by DC Richard Barnston. DC Paul Derrick rejects her request for the return of her client’s glasses to him. On her instructions, he submits a statement disputing the presence of his DNA on Joanna’s body and asserting that the allegation had been leaked to the press by someone from the laboratory for financial gain. The choice of a Thursday for his arrest gives the police the maximum time for holding him before he must be brought before a magistrate.
21st January 2011: The Sun carries an unattributed story that Vincent Tabak’s arrest was the result of an anonymous tip-off to the police from a sobbing girl. It also alleges that an unidentified former colleague claims that Vincent Tabak and Joanna Yeates have worked together professionally on joint projects. Evidence subsequently testified in court will show both of these reports to have been groundless. Another article from the same newspaper claims that DNA samples were found in several different places on Joanna’s bare body and with no attribution links this to a possible sexual motive. The Evening Standard also carries an unattributed story that Tanja Morson has left Vincent Tabak some time ago, adds a fabricated claim that he travelled to the Netherlands on 19th December 2010, leaving her in Bath, and links her to the sobbing girl. A magistrate authorises the police to hold Vincent Tabak longer than 36 hours.
22nd January 2011: The Mail carries an unattributed story linking the sobbing girl to Tanja Morson and quoting several unidentified neighbours alleging that Vincent Tabak and his girlfriend have split up some weeks or even months ago. The same article also quotes an unidentified neighbour claiming that when Vincent Tabak had arrived home from work on the evening Joanna disappeared, Christopher Jefferies told Vincent Tabak that he had helped Greg Reardon start his car to drive off to Sheffield. Evidence subsequently testified in court will show that each of these reports were fabrications. The article also claims that police are understood to be investigating whether Joanna Yeates’s body was taken from her home in a large bag or suitcase, because there were no drag marks on her body nor her clothing. During the evening, 28 days after “Operation Braid” was launched, Vincent Tabak is charged with murdering Joanna Yeates, on the basis of traces of her DNA alleged to have been found in the boot of Tanja’s car. The identities of other persons whose DNA was found there have not been revealed.
23rd January 2011: The Sunday Express publishes Hilary Douglas’s interview with Vincent Tabak.
Paul Cook
24th January 2011: Vincent Tabak is brought before the Magistrate, William Summers, who fails to ask him for his plea and fails to hear details of the CPS’s case against him, but remands him in custody. His barrister, Paul Cook, instructed by Crossman Solicitors, states that bail will be applied for. The general public assume that he is guilty and he spends a night of terror remanded in Bristol prison. Vincent Tabak’s shocked brother Marcel and sister Cora in the Netherlands separately deny publicly the allegations that Tanja Morson has left their brother and deny that she was the sobbing girl. They assert that their brother is gentle and friendly and could not possibly be a killer. They tell reporters that their brother has been made a scapegoat by panic-stricken police.
Crown Prosecutor Ann Reddrop
25th January 2011: Wearing borrowed glasses, Vincent Tabak is brought before Mr. Justice Treacy at a bail hearing, but his barrister, Paul Cook, does not apply for bail. This is probably because the Crown Prosecutor Ann Reddrop has now added a charge of attempting to incriminate the landlord. Vincent Tabak is moved to Gloucester prison. His terrified family in the Netherlands engage a media representative, Paul Vermeij.
Judge Colman Treacy
26th January 2011: Forensic pathologist Nathaniel Cary carries out an independent examination of Joanna Yeates’s body on behalf of Crossman & Co. Vincent Tabak is moved to Long Lartin prison and kept on suicide watch in the health unit. Paul Vermeij issues a statement saying that one or more members of Vincent Tabak’s family plan to travel to the UK to be in court for his next public hearing.
Michael Fitton QC
31st January 2011: Vincent Tabak appears via video-link from prison before Mr. Justice Treacy for a preliminary hearing setting out a timetable for his case. He is represented by Michael Fitton QC, who does not respond to the judge’s renewed invitation to apply for bail, probably because Dr. Cary’s examination has revealed evidence of Joanna’s violent struggle. Members of the Tabak family have abandoned their stated intention to travel from the Netherlands to be in the public gallery, as the defendant would not be able to make visual contact with them, nor be allowed to receive a visit from them in prison.
Acting prison chaplain at Long Lartin
Peter Brotherton, who did not reveal
that he was actually a Supervising
Officer at Whitemoor Prison,
2nd February 2011: Isolated from contact with anyone he knows, Vincent Tabak has the first of several consultations with Peter Brotherton, who assures the prisoner that what is said between them will go no further. This so-called chaplain knows he will testify in court, so these conversations are probably tape-recorded, without the prisoner’s knowledge. As Vincent Tabak’s lawyers have twice failed to get him bailed, and have apparently advised him to plead guilty of manslaughter, he probably asks the so-called chaplain how he can get himself a better lawyer. Brotherton has probably been briefed to recommend the Bristol firm of Kelcey & Hall.
5th February 2011: Vincent Tabak’s second meeting with Peter Brotherton.
8th February 2011: Vincent Tabak’s third meeting with Peter Brotherton. Not until nine months later does the public learn of these meetings, when their conversation will be ingeniously misrepresented in court as a confession of guilt by the prisoner.
10th February 2011: Vincent Tabak’s 33rd birthday.
Instructing solicitor
Ian Kelcey
11th February 2011: Joanna Yeates’s funeral is held in Ampfield. Tanja Morson, Marcel Tabak and a female friend make the first visit Vincent Tabak is permitted to receive in prison.
12th February 2011: The body of Nathan Tomlinson is found in the River Irwell in Lower Broughton.
16th February 2011: Peter Brotherton will be alleged to have signed a witness statement, whose existence is hearsay.
27th February 2011: The Mail reports that Joanna Yeates left an estate worth £47,000, which was reported to come partly from a small legacy from her grandfather, partly from an insurance on her life, but mainly from her own savings.
4th March 2011: Christopher Jefferies is released from bail.
28th March 2011: Unreported by the press, the inquest on Joanna Yeates, which had been opened and adjourned on 29th December 2010, is held by Assistant Deputy Coroner for Avon HMC Maria E. Voisin.
30th March 2011: On the basis of the certificate received from the Assistant Deputy Coroner, Registrar S. L. Thomas registered the date of Joanna Yeates’s death as 25th December 2010 and the place of her death as Longwood Lane Failand.
1st April 2011: The deadline set by Mr. Justice Treacy for the Crown to serve the case papers, including what would come to be called the “bad character evidence” contrived by the police.
28th April 2011: The deadline set by Mr. Justice Treacy for the defence case statement.
Judge Richard Field
Prosecuting QC
Nigel Lickley
5th May 2011: The plea and case management hearing originally scheduled to be held one day earlier at Bristol Crown Court is held at the Old Bailey in London. A person claiming to be Vincent Tabak appears by video link from prison before Mr. Justice Field. The figure on the TV screen is not asked if he is aware that the venue has been changed at 24 hours’ notice. Only Joanna Yeates’s parents and journalists who have been tipped off about the change are in the public gallery. To the astonishment of everyone except Joanna Yeates’s parents, who have been tipped off by the police, the person on the screen pleads guilty of manslaughter. Prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC describes to the court the contrived “evidence of bad character” that Defence Counsel William Clegg QC argues is inadmissable. The judge agrees with Mr. Clegg. In return, Mr. Lickley and Mr. Clegg agree (perhaps behind closed doors) that no evidence of the defendant’s good character will be admissable. A reporting restriction is imposed by order of the court on the discussion about evidence.
Defence QC William Clegg
6th May 2011: Ciara Richards is found alive and well on a bus travelling to Greenford.
29th July 2011: The Daily Mirror is fined £50,000 in the High Court and the Sun £18,000 for contempt of court for articles published about Christopher Jefferies during his arrest. Eight newspapers agree to pay him substantial libel damages.
9th August 2011: A jury at Manchester Crown Court finds Daniel Lancaster Not Guilty of the murder of Anna Banks, but Guilty of manslaughter. The investigating officer DI Mark Rothwell assures the victim’s relatives that the killer will be sentenced to a very long time behind bars.
11th August 2011: Daniel Lancaster is sentenced to 4 years in prison, with a chance of remission after 2 years.
7th September 2011: Defence Counsel William Clegg QC appears without his client at a brief hearing at Bristol Crown Court before the Recorder of Bristol, Judge Neil Ford, to inform the Crown that his team would be supplying the Court with an “enhanced statement” describing how the defendant alleged Joanna Yeates had been killed.
Judge Martin Picton
20th September 2011: Vincent Tabak appears at his pre-trial hearing before Judge Martin Picton, who orders the defence to produce their case papers before the end of the week. The hearing was originally scheduled for July but may have been delayed until the verdict on Daniel Lancester was known.
22nd September 2011: Vincent Tabak signs an “enhanced statement” prepared by his defence team on the basis of a theory put forward by unidentified detectives in The Mirror nine days before his arrest. It describes the sequence of events they will claim resulted in the death of Joanna Yeates and the dumping of her body. No motive for her killing is mentioned.
4th October 2011: Prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC applies to the judge for permission to tell the jury about the adult pornographic videos, but is refused. Selection of jurors for Vincent Tabak’s “show” trial begins.
8th October 2011: The Financial Times Magazine publishes the first interview with Christopher Jefferies since his arrest and bail.
10th October 2011: Prosecutor Nigel Lickley QC opens his case by giving an account of events (not all of which is consistent with the evidence) from the weekend when Joanna disappeared to the time of the arrest of the defendant. It is based on Vincent Tabak’s “enhanced statement”.
11th October 2011: Mr. Lickley concludes his opening of the prosecution case by summarizing how Joanna had died, how Vincent Tabak allegedly had dumped her body, what happened when he was arrested, the forensic evidence found in the car, and his alleged confession in prison. Mr. Lickley contended that Vincent Tabak had murdered Joanna. He did not give any motive for this. Mr. Clegg tells jurors that during their forthcoming field trip to Canynge Road, they are to satisfy themselves that it was possible for the defendant and the victim to make eye-contact through her kitchen window, and suggests to them that screams heard by witnesses could not have been Joanna’s from inside the flat as they would have been inaudible from outside.
12th October 2011: The judge, the jury and journalists are taken out to retrace on foot part of Joanna’s route home and visit her flat to test Mr. Clegg’s claims.
Pathologist Russell Delaney
13th October 2011: Junior prosecuting counsel Nicholas Rowland conducts the court through a succession of witnesses and witness statements relating to Joanna’s last evening and Vincent Tabak’s social behaviour in the weeks following her death.
14th October 2011: Jurors see photos of Joanna’s body and hear the statement of Daniel Birch who found it. The Home Office pathologist Dr. Russell Delaney tells the jury about the result of his two post-mortems.
Joanna’s best friend Rebecca Scott
17th October 2011: Dr. Delaney is cross-examined. Joanna’s best friend Rebecca Scott testifies that Joanna and Greg Reardon were besotted with each other. Greg Reardon testifies about the weekend he returned from Sheffield to find Joanna missing, describing signs of a struggle in the flat that conflict with his phone-call to report her missing in which he had indicated that he thought she had left of her own accord. DC Karen Thomas tells the jury about her interviews with Vincent Tabak, the second of them at Schiphol. A statement is read to the court from Vincent Tabak's employer Dr. Shrikant Sharma, about the defendant’s inability to concentrate on his work after Joanna went missing.
Forensic scientist
Lindsay Lennen (left)
18th October 2011: Forensic scientist Lindsey Lennen testifies about the DNA evidence she claims was found on the body and in the boot of the car driven by the defendant. Mr. Clegg cross-examines her in such a way as reinforce her credibility. Peter Brotherton testifies about his conversations with the defendant, stating that “It was not a religious confession”. Mr. Clegg cross-examines the Salvation Army volunteer in a way that deceives the jury into believing that the defendant made a confession to the retired prison chaplain, but that he cannot remember the crucial sentences correctly.
Lyndsey Farmery.
She did not tell the
jury that she is a
Criminal Intelli-
gence Analyst
19th October 2011: Yet another failed attempt is made to lead the adult pornographic videos as evidence. A police witness claiming to be an IT-expert, Lyndsey Farmery, testifies to the identity of each of a succession of websites shown to the jury, while Mr. Lickley reads out the times and dates when he alleges the defendant visited these websites. William Clegg QC opens the case for the defence by telling the jury that there is nothing to like about his client. He gives his version of the death of Joanna, in he claims his client tried to kiss her, and then tried to stop her screaming by putting his hand on her throat.
20th October 2011: Vincent Tabak enters the witness box. He is cross-examined by Mr. Clegg and Mr. Lickley in turn.
Pathologist Nat Cary
21st October 2011: Mr. Lickley cross-examined Vincent Tabak further. Pathologist Nat Cary testifies for the defence. He is cross-examined about Joanna’s body by Mr. Clegg.
24th October 2011: The jury hears a witness statement from a resident of 44 Canynge Road, Geoffrey Hardyman, who did not hear any screams. Mr. Clegg concludes the case for the defence.
25th October 2011: Mr. Lickley makes his closing speech. Mr. Clegg summarizes his case for the defence, telling the jury once again that he is not asking them to like his client.
26th October 2011: The judge sums up, and the jury begin their deliberations.
The jury heard no evidence of bad character
27th October 2011: Various news media make successful applications to publish the so-called “evidence of bad character”, which has hitherto been subject to reporting restrictions.
Min. 20 years
& 9 months
in prison
28th October 2011: Vincent Tabak found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison plus the nine months already spent on remand. All of the news media carry humiliating and largely unattributed, unsubstantiated stories about Vincent Tabak’s sordid double life viewing adult pornography and patronizing prostitutes, following the lifting of some of the reporting restrictions. They all carry unattributed allegations that he has a strangulation fetish and declare it to be a scandal that the jury was not told.
Children being abused
1st November 2011: An anonymous police spokesmen makes an obviously phoney allegation about the discovery on Vincent Tabak’s computer of thirty illegal images showing children being abused, adding that further action by police is unlikely. All the media report the allegation as if it were true.
6th November 2011: Lurid BBC “Crimewatch” propaganda film about the case is shown on TV.
14th November 2011: LGC Forensics issues a press release claiming that their use of advanced techniques had successfully linked Vincent Tabak to the murder of Joanna Yeates.
17th November 2011: Dramatised propaganda film made by Virgin Media, “Murder at Christmas”, shown on Sky TV.

The scapegoating of Vincent Tabak

Greg Reardon
The general public is convinced that the arrest of Christopher Jefferies was the result of spectacular police incompetence, and that the real killer of Joanna Yeates has now been convicted. This is totally false. The case against Joanna Yeates’s boyfriend Greg Reardon was so overwhelming, and the case against Vincent Tabak was so phoney, that the question is: Was the failure of the police to suspect the boyfriend a result of incompetence, of stubbornness and lack of imagination, or of nepotism? It was nepotism. Were the arrest first of the landlord, and later Vincent Tabak, the act of “panic-stricken” police in search of a scapegoat? Vincent Tabak’s family certainly believed he was being made a scapegoat. The answer to the last of these questions is emphatically “Yes” – except that the police, with the CPS at their backs, can now be seen to have been purposeful rather than panic-stricken.

There is insufficient evidence available to know why Greg Reardon had to be shielded. It could have been done because he or his family has more power than is apparent, or it could be to protect Joanna’s secret lover(s). There may be a wider criminal organisation behind one or both of them, or they may have been spared to protect important but unidentified commercial or civil interests. Joanna’s killer would not have strangled her if he hadn’t been well aware at the time of her murder that he had sufficient power over the police and the CPS to ensure that he didn’t risk spending the next 20 years in prison.

With the knowledge of events that they had, the police could not allow the case to remain “unsolved”. Only instigating a prosecution within 28 days would make it possible to prevent senior outside officers from being brought in, examining the police’s files and exposing the truth. Avon & Somerset Constabulary could not afford to allow detectives from another force to get their hands on Christopher Jefferies’s 2nd witness statement or the CCTV from Canynge Road. They could not allow officers from outside to start looking into the reasons why Greg Reardon had not been arrested. They had to convict a scapegoat.

One individual police officer alone cannot stitch up an innocent man as a scapegoat. It can happen only as a result of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice between agencies that are supposed to be independent of each other. When they are not independent, it is known as an ‘agency problem’. Alertness to such problems on the part of lay members of the public is essential in a democracy founded on the rule of law – yet the public has been totally fooled. Professional lawyers and journalists who dismiss these whistle-blowers as “uninformed conspiracy theorists” are those most likely to be part of the agency problem themselves. The list of agencies in this case starts with the CPS, but it includes Avon & Somerset Coroner’s Court, the Bristol magistrates’ bench, the judges, the Western Circuit, Buro Happold and the global architectural industry, the police in Schiphol, and unidentified interests in the Netherlands, possibly including the International Criminal Tribunal.

Joanna Yeates
Many examples can be demonstrated, furthermore, of manipulation, deception and downright lying by individual agencies and responsible persons connected with this murder case, other than the accused himself. On 20th December 2010 Joanna was reported missing. The next day, police questioned every resident of 44 Canynge Road, and learnt that Vincent Tabak had been alone without an alibi on the previous Friday evening. During the afternoon, the police also released a highly emotive video appeal for her return by Joanna’s parents and her boyfriend. That evening her landlord, Christopher Jefferies (who had already given one witness statement), telephoned the police to tell them that he had seen and heard Joanna together with one or two other persons on the path leading to her front door. The next day, a detective called and took the landlord’s 2nd witness statement (whose ungarbled contents have never been made public). As the video appeal was also quickly withdrawn from the internet, it may safely be inferred that what Mr. Jefferies had seen contradicted what Greg Reardon had recounted in the video.

Greg Reardon never spoke in public again. It can be inferred that detectives immediately questioned him, without telling Joanna’s parents nor the public, and learnt that Joanna was indeed dead, the location of her body, the identity of her secret lover, and why she had been killed. Within the succeeding 48 hours, probably in collusion with the CPS, the police must have decided that they could not prosecute Joanna’s boyfriend (for some reason not known), devised the plan to “discover” the body when the snow melted, incriminate Vincent Tabak as their main scapegoat, and groom the landlord as a suspect so as to silence him.

The body was “found” on Christmas day 2010, probably in or near a large pond in the quarry adjoining Longwood Lane, rather than by the roadside above the tunnel, as the public and the jury were told. This improbable deposition site was probably the coldest stretch of the lane, where the snow remained deepest. Within 24 hours, the pathologist would have established the details that were made public two days later, and also those that were not made public. The bruises on her body and the absence of one sock indicate that Joanna’s boyfriend had caught her in bed with her lover, and attacked her before she could finish dressing. She probably managed to flee from the building before he caught her. Murder is such a drastic act that it may have been precipitated by her pregnancy. The only evidence for this is the secrecy surrounding the Coroner’s inquest, whose very existence the news media did not even mention. This secrecy is itself evidence of intent to make a scapegoat of Vincent Tabak.

Not until Vincent Tabak’s plea hearing on 5th May 2011 did the CPS exclude the possibility that Joanna Yeates could still have been alive as late as the Winter Solstice, 22nd December 2010. This reinforces the suspicion that the depth of the snow was not evidence of an early time of death. Was she ritually sacrificed at Stonehenge by the unknown group responsible for instigating the scapegoating of Vincent Tabak?

By declaring that he was not a
suspect, the police revealed that
they must have known who did
kill Joanna Yeates
It was on 28th December 2010 that the public were told that Joanna had been strangled and DCI Phil Jones announced that he was leading the murder inquiry. He also told the press that Greg Reardon was not a suspect and had been designated a witness. This would have given Christopher Jefferies grounds for concern if his own witness testimony had been at odds with that of Joanna’s boyfriend. Later the same day, Amanda Hirst or someone else in authority at Avon & Somerset Constabulary leaked a deliberately  garbled version of Christopher Jefferies’s 2nd witness statement to Sky News.

Christopher Jefferies
On 29th December 2010 Christopher Jefferies was mobbed outside his house by journalists anxious for more details of his sightings of Joanna, as the police had intended he would be. He played right into the police’s hands, openly blaming the news media for misrepresenting what he had told the police, refusing to give the journalists what they wanted, and appearing to the TV viewers as a sinister and grumpy old homosexual. Watching his performance in the Netherlands, Vincent Tabak and his girlfriend Tanja Morson were startled by their landlord’s reticence about his sightings of Joanna, as they recalled that he had been far more explicit and precise about these when he had talked to them at the time.

The jury was never told about any forensic
results obtained by removing the front-door.
This suggests it was staged to entrap
Vincent Tabak.
That was also the day when the police announced that they were going to take away Joanna’s front door, allegedly for forensic analysis, then did so very conspicuously in full view of the TV cameras. Unknown to Vincent Tabak and Tanja Morson, who also saw this performance on TV, it was staged expressly for their benefit, as DC Karen Thomas would subsequently be able to tell the jury about the guilt he revealed during questioning by his curiosity about the removal of the front door.

The Detective-Constable who entrapped Vincent
Tabak at Schiphol
The following day, 30th December 2010, Vincent and Tanja saw on TV that a 65-year-old man – who could only be their landlord – had been arrested on suspicion of murdering Joanna. They fell straight into the trap that the police had so carefully laid for them. Tanja rang DC Karen Thomas to tell her about the discrepancies in Mr. Jefferies’s story, and they agreed to meet up the next day at Schiphol for the police to take their statements. The Detective Constable from Bristol would deceive the jury by explaining that the only reason for their rendezvous in Holland had been to interview Vincent Tabak about his allegation that the landlord had moved his car in the night. She did not explain how they spent the remainder of the 6 hours occupied by the interview. Had the police been engaged in a search for the real killer rather than a scapegoat, they would certainly have demonstrated their keenness by telling the news media that detectives had travelled to Holland to make inquiries, but the public were not told anything of DC Thomas’s visit to Holland until long afterwards.

The main reason for arresting Christopher Jefferies was to silence him. But of course the public does not know this, because no plausible explanation has ever been given for his subsequent prolonged house-arrest on police bail, during which he was forbidden to talk to journalists. He had told the police that he believed he had seen Joanna alive together with one or two other people. Because his 2nd witness statement was not read out at the trial and has never been made public, we do not know whether he saw her on the Saturday or Sunday, when Vincent Tabak had a good alibi. We do not know whether he recognised either of the people she was with. However, the treatment of Mr. Jefferies and his testimony is one of the conclusive proofs that Vincent Tabak was made a scapegoat. The landlord himself, furthermore, was also a scapegoat, as there is no doubt that his experience was frightening and left permanent emotional scars. However, he was also well rewarded financially by the courts, and he subsequently compromised himself by failing to reveal the truth in spite of numerous opportunities. The arrest of Christopher Jefferies also served to divert media attention away from Greg Reardon, and eventually enabled the judge to extend Vincent Tabak’s sentence by two years for his alleged attempt to incriminate his landlord.

It was only during the trial that the absence of any credible grounds for the police’s initial suspicion of Vincent Tabak emerged from Detective Constable Thomas’s testimony. ANYONE who showed a willingness to help secure a conviction or an interest in why the police took away the front-door to the apartment – including the couple who allegedly found the body in Longwood Lane, the nearby partygoers in Canynge Road who heard screams and the Catholic priest whom Joanna Yeates met on her last journey – ought to have attracted the same level of suspicion as Vincent Tabak did. For eight months the general public naively imagined that the detectives led by DCI Phil Jones must have discovered the motive for why Vincent Tabak should have done it – but at the trial it emerged that there never was any motive!

DC Karen Thomas travelled to Holland and interviewed
Vincent Tabak as a suspect without cautioning him
Mr. Jefferies was still in custody when Detective Constable Karen Thomas travelled to Holland with an unidentified colleague and, in violation of Netherlands sovereignty and the rules for the interrogation of witnesses and suspects, obtained a swab of reluctant Vincent Tabak’s saliva to document his DNA. The detective constable subsequently (in court on 17th October 2011) revealed her ill breeding and lack of respect for a member of the public by telling the press that Vincent Tabak’s girlfriend and sister had “fussed” over her younger brother – which can hardly have been surprising when they suddenly became aware that he was being treated as a suspect rather than as a witness.

A very dubious partial match of DNA from the swab collected by DC Thomas from Vincent Tabak in Holland was subsequently made with traces of an unidentifed body fluid allegedly found around 27th December 2010 on Joanna Yeates’s chest and behind the knee of her jeans that had been subject to “enhancing” for more than two weeks in the laboratory. It will be obvious that manual strangulation entails putting the hands on the neck of the victim, whereas putting them on the chest and behind the knee will not cause death. Had Vincent Tabak’s DNA been conclusively identified on Joanna Yeates’s neck, then it would have provided a basis for the suspicion that he killed her – but there was none found on her neck. The quantity of DNA evidence that was found was so tiny that it would have been destroyed in the analysis process, precluding examination by the defence. It would have been vulnerable to contamination and cross-contamination. Indeed, all it came anywhere near proving was that the victim and the accused lived at the same address – as the police already knew!
If the police really had suspected Mr. Jefferies of killing Joanna, they would first have taken a swab of his DNA, and delayed arresting him until the laboratory had had time to analyse the traces of fluids found on Joanna’s body to see if any of them matched the landlord’s DNA profile. Their haste in arresting the landlord without waiting for DNA evidence is therefore another clue that Mr. Jefferies was being cynically misused.

Amanda Hirst
This conclusion was not wasted on LGC Forensics, who, unlike the general public, knew very well that they had supplied no forensic evidence that could have incriminated the landlord. Just after the landlord’s release, they cashed in on their knowledge of the police’s exploitation of Mr. Jefferies to put pressure on Amanda Hirst and Avon & Somerset Constabulary, in collaboration with The Mail newspaper. They obtained the right to claim the credit for the DNA that led to the capture of Joanna’s killer. Their DNA enhancement and matching were therefore insecure, unreliable, and leaked to the press from the laboratory for “financial gain”. They advised detectives that the advantage of investigating males who shared the same dustbins, car parks and cat territory as the victim was that the police stood a very good chance of finding exactly the kind of naturally occurring forensic evidence that they could misrepresent as demonstrating a link between the victim and the innocent person to be framed.

The prolonged police activity at 44 Canynge Road was probably intended to unsettle the residents emotionally, so that, when one of them was tried for the murder, witnesses could be produced to testify to his emotionally unsettled state. As Lindsey Lennen of LGC Forensics told Jon Henley of The Guardian (17th January 2012), her colleagues can work extremely fast when they are required to do so.

3rd January 2011 was the day when Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones, from Avon and Somerset Constabulary – who knew very well that Joanna Yeates had not been raped and that her bra strap and her jeans were still fastened – gave a press conference where his choice of words shows, with hindsight, how Vincent Tabak was now the intended scapegoat: “At this stage there is no evidence to suggest that Joanna was sexually assaulted. However, I have not ruled out that there might have been a sexual motive.” A rapist might have killed a victim he did not know so as to silence her, but, in the absence of evidence of rape, the only possible sexual motives for killing Joanna would have been deprivation of sex, or jealousy resulting from infidelity, especially if she were pregnant or infected by a love rival. These sexual motives preclude a killer who was unknown to her. Murder is a very serious crime, so DCI Jones knew very well that he ought to have been looking either for a very serious criminal, or a killer to whom Joanna had represented a very formidable economic or social threat – and who knew that they could get away with it.

After Vincent Tabak was charged with murder, according to The Daily Mail, his family “accused police of using him as a ‘scapegoat’. They claimed that under-pressure detectives had ‘panicked’ when they arrested him. Relatives assumed he would be quickly released and were stunned when he was charged with killing Miss Yeates. They also said Tabak’s girlfriend, Tanja Morson, is standing by him and rubbished suggestions that she reported him to police. At his home in Doornenburg, a village 60 miles south-east of Amsterdam, Marcel Tabak insisted the case against his younger brother was ‘nonsense’. He said: ‘Vincent has been made a scapegoat. The police have panicked and arrested him and then charged him. There is no way Vincent could have done this. Tabak’s sister Cora Tabak, a doctor from Utrecht, said: ‘Anyone who knows him knows he could never be a killer. He is very gentle and social. There is no aggressiveness in him in any way.’ She dismissed speculation over the state of her brother’s relationship with Miss Morson, saying: ‘The rumours that they have separated are not true. It is not the case that she reported him to the police. She is still very much part of the group of us that is supporting him.’”

Buro Happold’s headquarters in Bath
After Vincent Tabak was arrested, three of his colleagues at Buro Happold, the global architectural consultancy where he was employed, spoke of their disbelief that he could have anything to do with the murder of Joanna Yeates. Management at the firm, however, merely referred inquiries to Avon & Somerset Constabulary. They can hardly have been unaware that the Tabak family were publicly accusing the police of having made a scapegoat of their employee. Did they harbour similar suspicions? It would hardly be in their commercial interest for a member of their staff to be convicted of strangling an architect. Since they had employed him for three years, they would have been sceptical about the police’s efforts to manipulate them with arguments about his deceitfulness and addiction to internet adult pornography. Were Buro Happold under the thumb of the police, or did they actively influence the prosecution and the defence to ensure that keep Vincent Tabak’s high intelligence, education and professional skills were kept out of the arguments in court? Did Buro Happold have any influence on the choice of Vincent Tabak’s defence lawyers?

The factors that show that Vincent Tabak was deliberately “stitched up”

Separate lists are found in other posts of the factors showing his innocence, the case against Joanna’s boyfriend, and the evidence that the police turned a blind eye to this
  • On Tuesday 21st December 2010 the police released a public video appeal for Joanna’s safe return by Det. Supt. Mark Saunders, her sobbing parents, and her more composed boyfriend. Later that same Tuesday, unknown to the general public, the landlord Christopher Jefferies telephoned the police to volunteer details additional to his earlier witness statement. On Wednesday 22nd December 2010, the police released a video of Greg Reardon explaining how he had driven to Sheffield the previous Friday evening (17th), and returned to find Joanna missing on the Sunday evening (19th). Early the same day, a detective called on the landlord to take formally his 2nd witness statement (which was not heard by the jury and has never been made public except in garbled form), in which he described having seen and heard Joanna at 44 Canynge Road together with two other people. He told his neighbours about all this. The video featuring Greg Reardon was quickly removed from the internet. A second video appeal featuring Joanna’s parents was quickly produced and released, in which Greg Reardon did not appear. The inference is that the landlord’s additional evidence led detectives to question the boyfriend closely about his version of events, but the public were not told.
    Christopher Jefferies saw two or three people,
    possibly including Joanna, on her front path.
    Was 44 Canynge Rd equipped with CCTV?
  • Det. Supt. Saunders announced that the police had been handed CCTV footage showing activity in Canynge Road. However, although both the landlord and his neighbour were active in the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, no CCTV footage ever emerged revealing activity near the house during the weekend when Joanna disappeared. This suggests that such footage existed and that the police, and possibly the landlord, kept quiet about it.
  • On 22nd December 2010, Greg Reardon must have revealed to detectives that Joanna was dead, as well as the circumstances of her death and the location of her body. An anonymous police spokesman announced that her boyfriend was not suspected of any involvement in her disappearance. Evidently the police were told that they must not convict her boyfriend, so presumably they drew up a short list of scapegoats without alibis. Vincent Tabak’s name would have stood at the top of this list.
  • There was no hiding the fact that Joanna had bought a pizza, nor its absence from the flat. Instead of drawing the most obvious conclusion, namely, that she had probably eaten it, DCI Gareth Bevan made his only public appearance in the case on 23rd December 2010, to appeal dramatically to anyone who knew the fate of her pizza to come forward. DCI Bevan thus prepared the ground for the police’s subsequent allegation that Joanna had not eaten the pizza, and, eventually, for Vincent Tabak’s bizarre testimony that he had stolen it.
    23 fire officers using four pumping tenders
    were needed to recover Joanna’s body
  • The news media did not report that 23 fire officers using four pumping tenders and a crane were called out to recover Joanna’s body, which the public and the jury were told had been found on Christmas day, partly covered by snow and leaves, by dog-walkers on the verge of Longwood Lane. The dog-walkers gave no press interviews, nor did they testify personally in court. This suggests that the body had been dumped in a much less accessible and better concealed place, and that its “discovery” was pre-arranged to coincide with the thaw, indicating that the police actually knew that Joanna was dead, where her body lay and who had dumped it before 25th December 2010
  • Although the pathology of Joanna’s body provided several unmistakable clues to the motive for her killing, the police remained evasive in their public statements. The absence of rape, her 40-odd bruises, the indoor clothing she was wearing, the absence of boots on her feet, and especially the one sock she was wearing, all point to her having been surprised in bed with her secret lover, being attacked by her angry boyfriend before she could finish dressing, and attempting to flee. Yet DCI Phil Jones would publicly suggest that the missing sock might have been used to strangle her (although he knew very well that no ligature had been used), or that her killer might have taken it as a trophy.
    The news media avoided reporting the very fact
    that an inquest had been opened and adjourned
  • Coroners normally hold public inquests into suspicious deaths and notify local press agencies of the dates when they are being held. The entire nation was interested in Joanna’s death, yet the press must have undertaken not even to mention that an inquest was opened, adjourned, and eventually closed. This secrecy in itself is evidence of a cover-up. The main reason for the secrecy about the 40-odd bruises on her body may have been to give Crossman Solicitors as little time as possible to prepare Vincent Tabak’s bail application, and also to prevent the public from drawing conclusions. However, the pathologist would also have looked for evidence of Joanna’s recent sexual activity, sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy, as these could have enormous bearing on the case. Yet neither of the two pathologists even mentioned any of these factors in court, nor were they asked about them by either Counsel.
    Glasgow gastro-
    archaeologist Jennifer
    Miller analysed the contents
    of Joanna’s stomach
  • The contents of Joanna’s stomach could have been analysed by the Home Office pathologist or one of his colleagues, but they were sent instead to a laboratory in another jurisdiction. This suggests that the police expected that analysis might reveal evidence of a later meal that would prove that Joanna was still alive after 1.30 a.m. on Saturday 18th December 2010. It also suggests that they wanted to prevent the Defence pathologist, Dr. Nat Cary, from analysing the contents of her digestive system. Although an unnamed police source would tell the news media just before Vincent Tabak’s arrest that analysis had shown that Joanna had not eaten the missing pizza, this was probably untrue. Even if it were true, the police could not have stated it as a fact so long as they still hadn’t established a window for the time of death within a few hours of the time when she had purchased the pizza. The Scottish forensic scientist Dr. Jennifer Miller managed to avoid actually telling the jury what she had found in Joanna’s stomach when she came to testify in court, and Counsel for the Defence did not cross-examine her. This further suggests that her analysis showed that Joanna could not have been killed by Vincent Tabak.
  • Introducing himself to the press on 28th December 2010 as the leader of the search for Joanna’s killer, DCI Phil Jones explained that “Operation Braid” was now a murder inquiry. The journalists who had been expecting him to arrest her boyfriend were sceptical when they learnt that Greg Reardon was not a suspect but had been designated a witness. This was one of many occasions when they expected an innocent explanation for why Joanna, with no apparent plans for the weekend, had failed to accompany her allegedly devoted boyfriend on his family visit to Sheffield, but no such explanation has ever emerged.
    Greg Reardon was declared to be
    a witness, not a suspect
  • The police’s designation of Greg Reardon as a witness probably made his landlord apprehensive, as his own 2nd witness statement presumably contradicted the version of events recounted by Joanna’s boyfriend in the first video appeal. Well aware of this, the police leaked a deliberately garbled version of the statement to Sky News, with the result that an irritated Christopher Jefferies was mobbed next morning by journalists curious to hear more about his sightings of Joanna with two other people at the time of her disappearance.
  • Mr. Jefferies’s neighbours understood his antics because he had explained about the leak to them, whereas Vincent Tabak and Tanja Morson, who had not talked to their landlord since before Christmas, were amazed at his denials over his sightings of Joanna. Mr. Jefferies had unwittingly played the sinister part devised for him by the police to perfection, so the public were not entirely surprised when he was arrested next day, 30th December 2010, on suspicion of murder. Certain by now that their landlord was guilty, the young couple in the Netherlands fell right into the trap that had been set for them. Tanja Morson phoned at once to DC Karen Thomas, not forgetting to mention that the landlord had moved his car in the night. This was to be the only element of their six hour witness interview at Schiphol next day that the jury would be told about. It served the three functions of creating a pretext for DC Thomas to make a suspect of Vincent Tabak, collecting the saliva swab that would yield his DNA profile that would form the excuse for arresting him, and enabling the CPS to allege falsely that it was he who attempted to incriminate Christopher Jefferies.
  • After his release on 1st January 2011, England’s most famous landlord was kept under house arrest on police bail until 4th March 2011, some six weeks after Vincent Tabak had been charged with murder. This bail can have had no other purpose than to silence him so that he would never make public what he had seen during the weekend when Joanna disappeared. His testimony was never heard at the trial, and his arrest was timed so as to entrap Vincent Tabak and Tanja Morson.
  • Unlike the general public, LGC Forensics understood very well how and why the police had used Christopher Jefferies. The firm’s management quickly worked out how to turn the situation to their own advantage. As soon as the landlord was released, they offered an exclusive but compromising story to The Mail newspaper about how the DNA they claimed to have found on Joanna’s body would soon lead them to identify her killer. On 2nd January 2011 the editor himself secured a compromise with the police about its publication. As a result, there was a long succession of unattributed leaks in the news media about DNA prior to Vincent Tabak’s arrest, and very favourable publicity for the part allegedly played by the newly privatised forensic science industry in his eventual conviction.
    Andrew Gregory
    Richard Smith
  • About ten days before Vincent Tabak’s arrest, The Mirror (10th/11th January 2011) carried a very revealing, exclusive, hare-brained story claiming that unidentified detectives were convinced that Joanna had been killed by a man whom she knew after she had rejected his declaration of love. This was the nearest that the police came to suggesting a motive for her murder, yet it was an implausibly weak one for such a serious crime. Joanna would have aroused much stronger emotions by dumping an existing partner, especially if jealousy of a rival played a part, and even more so if she were carrying the rival’s baby. The Mirror’s journalists Richard Smith and Andrew Gregory must have been aware, furthermore, that forensic evidence alone would not have made this bizarre scenario more likely than the more usual motives. Only the interrogation of an actual suspect and questioning of witnesses could have given a real basis for this particular suspicion, yet the journalists did not ask police for the grounds for their theory at the time, nor was Vincent Tabak interviewed as a suspect until ten days later. What might appear as mere tabloid silliness, therefore, became hugely significant nine months later, when a scenario almost identical to this was to become his manslaughter defence, and the jury’s basis for their verdict of murder.
    Journalist Jeremy Lawton
  • One week before Vincent Tabak’s arrest, The Daily Star (14th January 2011) published an article by journalist Jerry Lawton, quoting an unattributed police source, explaining that Joanna was believed to have been killed at home, and expressing amazement that her killer took the huge and unnecessary risk of moving and dumping her body – exactly as Vincent Tabak would subsequently concede in his “enhanced statement”, but in conflict with the evidence that she was killed elsewhere, and that her killer had to move her body for practical reasons. This served three purposes – it pre-empted the conviction of a scapegoat, represented him as an unbalanced person, and diverted attention away from the body of evidence pointing to Greg Reardon as the obvious killer.
    Crime Editor Mike Sullivan
  • A young mobile professional from another European country without family and friends of long standing capable of forming an effective local support group in the UK is vulnerable to abuse of power perpetrated by the law officers and media. Anyone who has been encouraged to put themselves into a vulnerable situation is entitled to extra the protection against abuse of those who also benefit and who encouraged him. The sentence meted out to him proves that the judge was in no doubt that Vincent Tabak was capable of anticipating the consequences of his own actions and distinguishing between right and wrong. If you still can’t accept that he has been made an innocent scapegoat, then the deprivation of Vincent Tabak’s career and of regular family prison visits must be matched by the size of the penalty you believe he would have incurred by letting Joanna live, or of the benefit you believe he obtained from killing her.
    Journalist Alex Peake 
  • A systematic unattributed media campaign characterized by deceit and manipulation was conducted against Vincent Tabak and those close to him before and after his arrest on 20th January 2011. It began with an allegation leaked to The Sun that his arrest had followed an anonymous tip-off to the police by a “sobbing girl”, which the public assumed was his girlfriend, Tanja Morson. This untrue story, credited to crime editor Mike Sullivan and journalists John Coles and Alex Peake, could have come only from the police themselves, and was never mentioned during the trial, where the enhancement of the DNA on Joanna’s body was given as the ground for his arrest. The purpose of this deception was to mislead the duty solicitor and prejudice the magistrates, as well as putting pressure on Tanja Morson.
    Journalist John Coles
  • Just after Vincent Tabak’s arrest, an untrue story by journalist Peter Dominiczak, attributed to unidentified neighbours and residents, appeared in The London Evening Standard, and was quickly repeated by The Mail and other news media, alleging that he and his girlfriend (who had actually just told friends that they planned to get married) had split up around the time when Joanna had been killed. This deception was probably leaked by the police, and aimed at discrediting the Tabak and Morson families, as well as hinting at a motive for the accused.
    Journalist Peter Domininczak
  • While he was in police custody, The Sun published an allegation by Crime Editor Mike Sullivan and journalists Alex Peake and John Coles, attributed to an unnamed ex-colleague of the man arrested, claiming that Vincent Tabak and Joanna knew each other through joint projects and that he had appeared happier than usual at work on 17th December 2010. Buro Happold made no attempt to refute this lie, even though it would become clear during the trial that the accused and the victim had had no contact at all prior to the weekend of her death. This falsehood could not fail to influence the duty solicitor and mislead the magistrates, so it was probably instigated by Amanda Hirst.
  • The day after his arrest, The Sun published allegations by an unidentified police source claiming that DNA found on Joanna’s body beneath her clothes suggested that she had been sexually assaulted. Even if this were true, the timing of the leak would have prejudiced a fair trial, but as the police knew very well that the circumstances of her death were quite different, the story about DNA on her breasts and stomach, which was taken up by The Telegraph, was a serious element in the sexualisation of the scapegoat by the police and LGC Forensics.
    Long Lartin Prison
  • He was charged with murder 28 days after Joanna’s body was found, at 9.30 p.m. on 22nd January 2011. Had this been delayed any longer, a high-level review would have had to be carried out by a senior officer from another force. On the other hand, the possible reasons why he was not arrested as soon as he returned from Holland on 2nd January 2011 can only be disreputable ones: allowing time for a succession of stories to appear in the news media promoting the DNA merchants as part of the deal agreed with The Mail and LGC Forensics, persuading Peter Brotherton to volunteer at Long Lartin prison, or waiting until a sufficiently tame magistrate would be on duty.
  • At Vincent Tabak’s first court hearing on 24th January 2011Bristol Magistrate William Summers rubber-stamped the CPS’s case without hearing any details of the evidence nor the case against the accused nor asking him how he pleaded.
  • The first barrister, Paul Cook, booked a bail hearing in Bristol Crown Court but changed his mind about applying for bail within 24 hours, probably because, on 25th January 2011 at this hearing, the CPS suddenly added the calumny charge of attempting to incriminate the landlord.
  • Despite having no previous convictions nor any history of violence, Vincent Tabak was remanded in a dispersion prison far away from Bristol specializing in violent long-term prisoners and not normally used for remand prisoners except for exceptionally dangerous ones. If the case against him had been genuine, his lawyer could have ensured that he was placed under house arrest.
  • Contrary to the normal rules for prisoners awaiting trial, he was kept largely in isolation, and denied visitors until nearly three weeks after his arrest. If the case against him had been sound, the CPS would not have been taking any risks by allowing him regular contact with the outside world.
  • At the preliminary hearing on 31st January 2011 Mr Justice Treacy failed to ask Vincent Tabak (now represented by head of chambers Michael Fitton QC) how he pleaded and failed to ask the CPS to explain the case against the prisoner. His failure to apply for bail this time most probably was caused by the report he had just received from the defence pathologist describing the evidence that Joanna had been beaten up and bruised before she was killed.
  • A person claiming to be Vincent Tabak appeared only by video-link at two of his preliminary hearings before a judge, in obvious violation of his right to habeas corpus. At the first of these hearings, this was probably done to discourage members of his family from travelling from the Netherlands to be in court and his girlfriend from attending the hearings, as they would not have been able to make legitimate visual contact with him if they had been present.
  • The Salvation Army prison chaplain Peter Brotherton, from whom Vincent Tabak was tricked into seeking counselling, probably about replacing his first lawyers, who had twice failed to apply for bail, was probably briefed to recommend Kelcey & Hall to him. The defence team that resulted exhibited very strong signs that they colluded with the CPS. The chaplain reported his conversations with the prisoner to a security officer, and the final conversation was cleverly misrepresented in court by Counsel for the Defence as a confession. The chaplain was a Judas who can have been insinuated into the prison only with the collusion of the Home Office.
  • The CPS insisted throughout that the charge was murder rather than manslaughter, despite acknowledging that the accused was of good character, and despite the fact that emerged only at the trial that prosecutors had no evidence of Vincent Tabak’s intent, knew of no motive, nor were interested in establishing one.
  • The defence failed to argue the Basil Blake solution, that he had only moved the body in a panic after an unknown killer had dumped it in a way to incriminate him.
    The Old Bailey, London
  • Vincent Tabak’s plea hearing was moved from Bristol to the Old Bailey and its date changed from 4th to 5th May 2011 at 24 hours’ notice, so that only accredited journalists and Joanna Yeates’s parents were in the public gallery. There was no one in court who knew the accused well enough to recognise whether it was Vincent Tabak who entered the manslaughter plea, so it must have been an imposter on the video screen. The case against him would prove to be so weak, when the evidence was heard at his trial, that the real defendant would have pleaded his innocence.
  • The Old Bailey hearing was also used to enable the judge to hear the discussion about whether to admit the so-called “bad character evidence” which evidently ensured the resulting secret deal not to admit “good character evidence”. No independent witnesses would testify at the trial 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 with his lawyers made on 5th May 2011? Were the journalists present allowed to hear it, and was it then subject to permanent reporting restrictions?
  • The evidence that it was an imposter who entered the plea also indicates that the real defendant would have been unaware of the “evidence of bad character” at the time when he finally agreed to stand trial on the basis of a manslaughter plea, nor of the sexual aspersions that would be cast on him.
  • Vincent Tabak was now represented by a different solicitor, Ian Kelcey, from a different law firm (but still based in Bristol and dependant on Colin Port and the CPS’s Ann Reddrop for much of his business), instructing a different defence QC, William Clegg. Ian Kelcey was a recent past chairman of the National Law Society’s Criminal Law Committee. William Clegg had taken briefs as the International Criminal Tribunal, where Chief Constable Colin Port had been a co-ordinator. Numerous documented instances show that Vincent Tabak’s new defence team had an agenda calculated to assist the prosecution. 
  • On 11th August 2011, in Manchester, Daniel Lancaster received a suspiciously lenient sentence of four years, with a chance of remission after two years, for having strangled his girlfriend on 21st December 2010, after the investigating officer DI Rothwell had promiseed the victim's family that her killer would be put behind bars for a very long time. After Vincent Tabak appeared at a pre-trial hearing originally scheduled for July but put back to 20th September 2011, Judge Martin Picton pressed his defence team to get him to sign an “enhanced” statement based on a hare-brained scenario leaked by police to The Mirror ten days before Vincent Tabak’s arrest, which was obviously phoney, as it conflicted with key evidence and was calculated to support a faked manslaughter plea on behalf of an innocent defendant. Did the defence use Daniel Lancaster’s lenient sentence as bait to persuade Vincent Tabak to sign? Did the CPS threaten to charge Tanja Morson as his accomplice unless he agreed to stand trial?
  • Most of the 43 injuries sustained by Joanna’s body were not revealed publicly until the trial, so Vincent Tabak was aware only of his own pathologist’s gentler interpretation. There is evidence that he had not been warned, when he signed his “enhanced” defence statement on 22nd September 2011, of the ferocity that Counsel for the Prosecution would ascribe to the attack on Joanna.
  • There is evidence that, when Vincent Tabak agreed on 22nd September 2011 to stand trial for manslaughter, he was unaware of the evidence of a struggle in the flat which Joanna’s boyfriend would testify he had found there.
  • There is no reason to believe that Vincent Tabak was aware, prior to the trial, that his own Defence Counsel would be leading the prison chaplain in the witness box so as to misrepresent his third counselling session with the chaplain as a confession of guilt.
  • There is no reason to believe that Vincent Tabak was aware, prior to the trial, that Counsel for the Prosecution would be leading the so-called IT expert in the witness box so as to misrepresent and falsify innocent internet use so as to make it appear incriminating.
    Dr Shrikant Sharma
  • Counsel for the Defence William Clegg QC made no attempt to draw the jury’s attention to the defendant’s exceptionally sympathetic character, education and professional attainments, even failing to call and cross-examine the prosecution’s ideal witness for this purpose, Dr. Shrikant Sharma, to testify in person – but instead told the court that there was “nothing to like” about his client. This was the result of a deal with the prosecution not to lead any character evidence, good or bad.
  • Counsel for the Prosecution Nigel Lickley QC made no attempt to establish a credible motive for the crime, basing his case instead on the defendant's being a “crazy detached person” – but neither did he produce any evidence to support this, failing even to call his own ideal witness for this purpose, Vincent Tabak’s employer Dr. Shrikant Sharma, to testify in person.
  • By moving the plea hearing to the Old Bailey at 24 hours’ notice and witholding reporting permission for nearly six months, Mr. Justice Field blackmailed the media to take part in a conspiracy to misrepresent Joanna’s death as a sex crime – even though it wasn’t – and create the maximum sensation from the “evidence of bad character” – which was no such thing, nor could it be categorized as evidence, since no witness was prepared to testify to it under oath.
    Geoffrey Hardyman’s was the
    Defence’s only witness statement
  • The jury heard 19 prosecution witnesses testify and 17 witness statements read out in court by prosecution counsel, whereas they heard only one independent witness testifying for the defence and one witness statement read out in court by a junior defence counsel.
  • There is evidence that Vincent Tabak was unaware, when he agreed to stand trial, that the Prosecution had assembled so-called “evidence of bad character” based on adult pornography and prostitutes researched by unnamed police officers on the internet. The editors of the serious media must have realized that the five-month imposition of reporting restrictions on the adult pornographic videos and the prostitutes  proved that the judiciary had something serious to hide from the general public, and that the so-called “bad character evidence” was phoney.
    He was probably unaware that
    the Prosecution and the media
    would claim that he fantasised
    about violence against women
  • There is evidence that Vincent Tabak was unaware, when he agreed to stand trial, that unidentified police would make allegations about the presence of illegal images of child abuse on his computer. The phoney allegations of Vincent Tabak’s possession of illegal images showing child abuse would serve no purpose if his conviction were sound. If these image had really existed, then the Prosecution would have included them among the “evidence of bad character”, the application for which would then undoubtedly have succeeded.
  • The haste with which the documentary film “Murder at Christmas” was produced after the trial reveals an urgent need to compensate for the October charade at Bristol Crown Court.
  • The release date 28th October 2031 published in the records of the cases heard in Bristol Crown Court shows that the 20 year sentence handed down by the judge does not make any allowance for the nine months Vincent Tabak spent remanded in custody.