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Armlock may have killed Vicky

PUBLISHED: 11:55 07 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

POST mortem examinations on Vicky Hall's body showed that the teenager's death was likely have taken only minutes and may have resulted from an "arm lock", a court has heard.

POST mortem examinations on Vicky Hall's body showed that the teenager's death was likely have taken only minutes and may have resulted from an "arm lock", a court has heard.

Graham and Lorinda Hall, parents of the 17-year-old A' level student whose naked body was found in a Suffolk ditch five days after she disappeared, left the courtroom while details of two post mortems on their daughter were read out.

Michael Lawson, QC, and William Carter, both prosecuting, told a jury at Norwich Crown Court that the examinations were carried out on the body after it was discovered semi-submerged in a ditch beside a bridle-way in Creeting St Peter on September 24, 1999.

Tests showed that suffocation was a likely cause of her death and that "it is likely she died within two hours of last being seen", Mr Carter said.

Suffolk businessman Adrian Bradshaw, 27, of Felnor Walk, Felixstowe, (and previously of The Wheelwrights in Trimley St Mary) is accused of murdering the teenager who lived with her parents and younger brother Steven in Trimley's Faulkeners Way.

The court heard yesterday how a series of witnesses on Trimley's Farmlands Estate heard screams and a screeching car on the morning Vicky disappeared.

Michael Watts, who lived at Trimley's Farmlands Estate at the time, told the jury that he was sitting in his garden in the early hours of September 19, 1999, when he heard two screams followed by the sound of a noisy car pulling away.

"I heard one scream which really I didn't take some notice of," Mr Watts said. "Shortly after that there was a real horrifying scream and everything went deadly silent. It was a female voice and very loud. The screaming went on for several seconds. It was very harrowing. I don't really know how to describe it."

"I was sat outside in my garden with the Labrador, and the Labrador got up, put his tail between his legs and went back in through the patio doors," he told the court.

Mr Watts said a "sixth sense" made him note the time of the scream at 2.30am when he went back into his house. He then returned to his garden but heard nothing more. On his way upstairs, he heard a car pulling away.

"It had quite a noisy exhaust. My opinion was it was a GTi of some description," he told the court.

The prosecution says Bradshaw, who owns a free newspaper in Felixstowe, climbed out of a taxi at around 2.30am near the spot where Miss Hall was last near the junction of Faulkeners Way and the main road through Trimley.

The Orwell High pupil had spent the evening with her best friend Gemma Algar at Felixstowe's Bandbox nightclub before the two walked home, buying chips on the way and bidding goodbye to each at the junction near their homes.

The prosecution says traces of mud found in Bradshaw's car show a "remarkable similarity' to soil on the spot where Miss Hall's body was found.

The judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Moses, told the jury it would hear "expert evidence on soil" in court tomorrow – a day likely to be important in the trial.

The trial continues today.

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