Murder accused appears in court

MEDIA attention returned to Ipswich today as the man accused of murdering five women in and around the town was appearing in court for the second time.

MEDIA attention returned to Ipswich today as the man accused of murdering five women in and around the town was appearing in court for the second time.

Steve Wright, 48, was appearing at Ipswich Crown Court at 10.30am today for a preliminary hearing.

He was set to travel under police escort from Belmarsh prison, London for a short hearing in court one of the crown court.

Wright stands accused of the murders of Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.

He is alleged to have killed Miss Nicol between October 29 and December 9; Miss Adams between November 30 and December 3; Miss Alderton between December 2 and December 11, Miss Clennell between December 9 and December 13 and Miss Nicholls between December 4 and December 13.

All five women had been working as prostitutes in Ipswich and all, except Miss Alderton, had been reported missing prior to their bodies being discovered in Suffolk's countryside.

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Miss Adams' body and the body of Miss Nicol were found within a week of one another - Miss Adams in Belstead Brook at Hintlesham on December 2 and Miss Nicol in the same brook at Copdock on December 8.

Miss Alderton's body was later found, on December 10 in Nacton, thrusting the media spotlight on to Suffolk.

News crews from America, Germany and Finland were among those covering the story as news broke that two more bodies, those of Miss Clennell and Miss Nicholls had been discovered in Levington on December 12.

Wright was then arrested at his home in London Road on December 19 and charged with the murders of all five women two days later.

A packed magistrates' court awaited his first court appearance on December 22 and newshounds lined the streets trying to catch a glimpse of the suspect.

A similar scene was expected today as journalists prepared to queue for the appearance of Wright at the crown court in Russell Road.

The case was likely to be adjourned for about six weeks when a plea and directions hearing will take place.

Do you want tribute to the five women killed? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblinks: www.suffolk.police.uk

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