Murder suspects' family had no doubt

RELATIVES of released murder suspect Tom Stephens “never doubted” his innocence of the killings of five Ipswich prostitutes, according to his stepmother.

RELATIVES of released murder suspect Tom Stephens “never doubted” his innocence of the killings of five Ipswich prostitutes, according to his stepmother.

Mrs Stephens, who is married to the 37-year-old's father, Douglas, said her stepson had never had a fight in his life and that his family always knew he was not involved in any way.

Mr Stephens, a supermarket worker, was arrested by police investigating the deaths of Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Annelie Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, on Monday, December 18.

All the women worked as prostitutes in the red-light area of Ipswich.


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The former special constable, of Trimley St Martin, was held in custody for three days, but was released on police bail pending further enquiries on December 21.

Truck driver Steve Wright, 48, of London Road, Ipswich, has been charged with killing all five prostitutes.

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Speaking from her cottage in Isham, near Kettering, Mrs Stephens, who did not want to reveal her first name, said it had not been a nice time for the family.

“We knew he wasn't guilty,” she said.

“We never doubted him. He's not that type. He has never had a fight in his life.”

It is not yet clear whether Mr Stephens, who collected trolleys at Tesco at Martlesham and was a former special constable with Norfolk Constabulary, has returned to his home in Trimley or has been taken to a safe house by police for his own protection. Suffolk police has refused to comment on the matter.

Mrs Stephens said: “We know he's keeping a low profile, as told by the police. I think he's alright.

“We can't get in touch. We haven't heard from him for a week or so. Tom is doing what the police say.”

Mr Stephens' father Douglas said son had been following the advice of police, which was not to give any information about where he is.

“I said: 'I won't ask you any questions',” he said.

n Wright is currently in custody at the high-security Belmarsh prison. He is due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on May 1.

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