Murder accused changes legal team

MURDER accused Steve Wright has dumped his original legal team and appointed a new one.Among those who will no longer represent Wright is a barrister who helped successfully prosecute Soham child-killer Ian Huntley.

MURDER accused Steve Wright has dumped his original legal team and appointed a new one, it emerged today.

Among those who will no longer represent Wright is the barrister who helped successfully prosecute Soham child-killer Ian Huntley.

Wright, of London Road, was to be represented by top barrister Karim Khalil QC after his Newmarket-based solicitor, Paul Osler, made a successful approach for his services.

However, crown court records show, Wright, 48, dropped Mr Osler as his solicitor and switched to city firm Burton Copeland London (BCL).


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Around a week ago, Mr Khalil was formerly relieved of the case.

Mystery surrounds the reasons behind Wright's decision and his former legal representatives remain tight-lipped over why the changes have been made.

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Today, Mr Osler refused to be drawn on why neither he nor Mr Khalil were any longer involved in the case.

He added: “I would have to leave that with his new solicitor to explain.”

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

The naked discarded bodies of the women, who all worked as prostitutes, were found between December 2 and December 12.

A spokesman for BCL refused to comment on their involvement in the case or who would be appointed as replacement barrister.

Based in Holborn, BCL specialises in commercial fraud, financial regulation, tax investigations and, significantly, serious crime.

The firm is regarded as one of the UK's leading practices.

Speaking before Wright made the decision to change legal teams, Mr Khalil described the case as “huge” and the biggest he had been involved in.

He said: “It will be a huge case, but there's a long way to go. It would be the biggest I have been involved with. I was involved in the case of Huntley, but I was prosecuting.”

Wright will be prosecuted by Peter Wright QC, the barrister who helped secure Harold Shipman's conviction for multiple murder following a trial in late 1999 and early 2000.

Wright will appear before Ipswich Crown Court on May 1 when he is expected to enter pleas to the charges.

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