Funerals should help families

FIVE families can today prepare to lay their daughters to rest after the bodies of the victims of the Ipswich killings were released by the coroner.The families of Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell, and Annette Nicholls, have been unable to say goodbye to the women because of the need for tests on their bodies.

FIVE families can today prepare to lay their daughters to rest after the bodies of the victims of the Ipswich killings were released by the coroner.

It has been an agonising wait for the families and friends of Gemma Adams, 24, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24 and Annette Nicholls, 29 who have been unable to say goodbye to the women because extensive examinations have had to be conducted on their bodies.

It has now been nearly two months since the discovery of the body of Miss Adams in Belstead Brook at Hintlesham on December 2.

Today her father said he felt some comfort that that he could now lay his daughter to rest.

Brian Adams, of Kesgrave, said: “I think it will help us because we can put that milestone behind us.

“It has been difficult up until now and hopefully we can now make the arrangements and move onto the next stage.

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“We didn't really know what to expect and were told it could be up to three or four months before they were released. I am pleased now they are ready to be released and we can have a funeral.”

Mr Adams said the family had not yet made plans for the funeral but it was likely to be held in the next two or three weeks, possibly in Kesgrave, the town where Gemma grew-up.

Lilian Power, a counselling psychologist based in Bramford, said having funerals would help the families begin to work through their grief.

She said: “The whole process of being able to put somebody they love to rest is one of the ways in which they can work through a death. It is terrible when there is no body to have a funeral.

“We are always searching for ways of working through grief and getting on with our lives and a funeral is one way of trying to do that.

“There is no way of getting over a death but you can provide yourself permission to move on.”

Police will still not say if they know the cause of death of Miss Adams, Miss Nicol and Miss Nicholls.

Miss Alderton, whose body was found in Nacton on December 10, died from asphyxiation and Miss Clennell, whose body was found in Levington two days later, died from compression to the neck.

A spokesman for the coroner's office in Ipswich said investigations relating to causes of death were ongoing, although the bodies had been formerly released because all examinations had now taken place.

Steve Wright, 48, of London Road, Ipswich, has been charged with the murder of all five women. He is due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on May 1.

Weblinks: www.suffolk.police.uk; www.lilianpower.co.uk

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