Prosecution expected to open case today

THE trial of a 49-year-old man accused of murdering five prostitutes in Ipswich is due to get underway today with the prosecution opening of the case.

Jane Hunt

THE trial of a 49-year-old man accused of murdering five prostitutes in Ipswich is due to get underway today with the prosecution opening of the case.

Prosecution counsel Peter Wright QC is expected to tell a jury at Ipswich Crown Court how the five women allegedly met their deaths and the events leading up to the arrest of forklift truck driver Steve Wright.

Wright, of London Road, Ipswich, has denied murdering Tania Nicol, 19, Paula Clennell, 24, Anneli Alderton, 24, Gemma Adams, 25, and Annette Nicholls, 29, between October 29 and December 13, 2006.

The former pub landlord was charged with murdering the women after their bodies were found in countryside on the outskirts of Ipswich during a ten-day period shortly before Christmas that year.

On Monday, a jury panel was selected from a pool of more than 100 potential jurors and the ten men and two women along with 12 reserves were told to return to court today .

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Yesterday was set aside for prosecution counsel Mr Wright and Timothy Langdale QC, who is leading the defence team, to make final preparations before today's opening.

Wright was brought into court for a 20 minute hearing during which barristers in the case updated the trial judge Mr Justice Gross on their progress.

Each of Wright's alleged victims had been working as prostitutes in the red-light district of Ipswich on the nights they disappeared.

Tania Nicol was the first to go missing and her disappearance was reported to police on November 1, 2006, after she failed to return home.

Miss Adams was reported missing on November 15, 2006, just over two weeks after Miss Nicol disappeared. Her body was found in Belstead Brook at Hintlesham on December 2 that year.

Less than a week later Miss Nicol's body was found two miles downstream at Copdock Mill.

Miss Alderton's body was found in woodland at Nacton on December 10 and two days later the bodies of Miss Clennell and Miss Nicholls were found nearby at Levington.