Ipswich murders -10 years on: Drug expert warns it could still happen again elsewhere

Steve Wright's victims
Gemma Adams, Annette Nicholls, Anneli Alderton, Tania Nicol and Paula Clenn

Steve Wright's victims Gemma Adams, Annette Nicholls, Anneli Alderton, Tania Nicol and Paula Clennell Montage by Jon Elsey - Credit: Archant

Ten years ago today Steve Wright began a killing spree which claimed the lives of five Ipswich sex workers in late 2006, and made Ipswich the focus of worldwide attention.

A decade later a leading expert in treating drug addicts has warned it could still happen again elsewhere in the UK.

Brian Tobin, founder and chief executive of Iceni in Foundation Street, was one of the few who had been trying to help women working on the streets in Ipswich’s red light area to conquer their addictions.

Mr Tobin said despite being involved in 40-50 presentations across the UK over the past 10 years, he believes Ipswich stands alone in actually having done something to protect the vulnerable women who sell themselves for drugs.

He said: “No one seems to have done anything in those 10 years, not the homelessness, not the criminalisation.

Brian Tobin of Iceni,

Brian Tobin of Iceni,

“Debate has been raging and we have come up with nothing.

“Women are still being murdered on the street in the UK and there will be more.

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“Nothing’s changed and won’t until a few murders happen again, and people will say ‘we have got to do something about this’.

“I’m just so sad other towns and cities have not taken on what we have done here. However, to think women don’t have to go and work on the streets in Ipswich is the best legacy of all.

Meanwhile Conrad Wright, Steve Wright’s father, urged him to come clean about the murders.

The 80-year-old remains in two minds about his son’s guilt, but has not spoken to the 58-year-old since his arrest in December 2006.

Although he received a letter from Wright while he was on remand in Belmarsh prison awaiting trial, Conrad’s attempt to go and see him was rebuffed.

Asked what he would say to his son if he was able to talk to him. Mr Wright snr said: “I think it’s time to clean the slate and be a man and if you’ve done it own up to it.

Steve Wright

Steve Wright - Credit: PA

“It would only hurt me if he’s not guilty. If he’s guilty I’m afraid you’ve got to take your punishment.

“Even if he said ‘I did it dad, I’m sorry’.

“I still can’t get to the bottom of it really in my own mind. I can’t believe it.”

“It doesn’t seem possible for anybody, let alone Steve.”

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