Vicky Hall murder case opens

PUBLISHED: 13:25 02 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:19 03 March 2010

ADRIAN Bradshaw was in the same area at the same time that Trimley teenager Vicky Hall was last seen alive, a jury heard today.

A soil sample taken from the driver's foot well of Bradshaw's Porsche was remarkably similar to one taken from the area where the 17-year-old's body was found, the court was told.

ADRIAN Bradshaw was in the same area at the same time that Trimley teenager Vicky Hall was last seen alive, a jury heard today.

A soil sample taken from the driver's foot well of Bradshaw's Porsche was remarkably similar to one taken from the area where the 17-year-old's body was found, the court was told.

Michael Lawson, QC, prosecuting, said 27-year-old Bradshaw lied to police about where he had been dropped off by a cab on the night Vicky Hall disappeared.

Bradshaw, owner of Suffolk newspaper The Felixstowe Flyer, has pleaded not guilty to murdering A level student Vicky between September 19 and September 24, 1999.

At the time Bradshaw of Felnor Walk, Felixstowe, lived at the Wheelwrights in Trimley St Mary … the same village Vicky lived in with her family in Faulkeners Way.

The jury of five women and seven men at Norwich Crown Court heard that Vicky spent the night of September 19, 1999, at the Bandbox nightclub in Felixstowe with friend Gemma Algar before the pair walked home, buying chips on the way and parting at the junction of High Road and Faulkeners Way.

Vicky promised to ring her friend the next day and the friends separated for their home, with Gemma heading down the main road.

As she passed an alleyway, "she heard a couple of screams", Mr Lawson told the court.

"To start with she thought they were larking about but then it occurred to her that it might be someone being attacked. She didn't think it was her friend," he said.

Mr Lawson said Gemma arrived home and saw the time was 2.30am.

The jury heard how Vicky's mother Lorinda woke the next day to find her daughter's door open and realised she had not got home. At 8.30am she reported her missing to police.

Mr Lawson said it wasn't until Friday, September 24, when Jim Armour was walking his dog near Creeting St Peter that Vicky's body was found.

She was "lying naked in the water" in a ditch on a bridle path, he said.

A post mortem examination revealed the teenager's body had "been in that shallow water since shortly after her disappearance".

It also showed she had bruising to a muscle on her back near her shoulder.

Mr Lawson said a pathologist found she had died as a result of asphyxia, but there was no signs of strangulation.

Mr Lawson said Bradshaw had also been to the Bandbox nightclub that night and had travelled home with a friend, Pete, and two girls in a cab, but their accounts of where he had been dropped off differed.

Mr Lawson said that the screams which were heard on the night Vicky disappeared, were heard not only by Gemma but a number of people.

He said there was more than one female scream and they sounded frightened rather than "larking about".

People also heard the sound of a car and car doors, and the sound of a throaty exhaust and a car screeching away at high revs.

He said: "But whatever the difference in the accounts, the timing is the same, 2.30am, so we know that was the time Victoria Hall was accosted and abducted. There was a curious coincidence in the evidence."

He said in the week before Vicky's body was found, Bradshaw collected a cheque from a Mrs Osborne at Kirton.

He drove his Porsche and she noticed that his noisy exhaust sounded very throaty or defective.

Mr Lawson said: "She was immediately struck by the similarity between his exhaust and the exhaust which disturbed her that Sunday morning, driving from Kirton to Faulkeners Way.

"When she mentioned it, he asked if she had reported it to the police and when she said she had, he asked if they had been round to see her.

"The conversation inevitably turned to Victoria Hall and she got the impression every time she mentioned Victoria that he tried to steer the conversation to other murders."

Felixstowe Flyer deliverer Mrs Bowsier bumped into Bradshaw in the week after Vicky's disappearance, but before the body was discovered.

She saw him coming out of an alleyway in Dains Place, Trimley St Mary, and offered him a lift to Walton.

He told her he knew both Vicky and Gemma and had been in the Bandbox on the night of her disappearance and had often seen the pair walking along High Road.

Mr Lawson said: "For some reason which Mrs Bowsier cannot understand why, she commented that Vicky was dead. There was a startling reaction from the defendant, who looked shocked and said `Who told you that'."

Mr Lawson said when he was interviewed in May 2000 Bradshaw said he could not remember some events clearly, possibly "leaving room for manoeuvre".

But Mr Lawson said Bradshaw remained adamant that he had never been to Creeting St Peter, apart from as a child 13 years ago.

Mr Lawson said Bradshaw swapped his white Porsche 924 in May 1999 for a blue Porsche and both cars had been examined by scenes of crime officers.

Although they concluded it was highly unlikely the white car had been in the vicinity where the body was found, the mat from the white car had been transferred into the blue car.

The soil samples taken from the driver's foot well of the blue car were compared with samples taken from the scene where the body was found.

They were examined by soil expert Professor Pye and Mr Lawson said: "The results of his research show the degree of similarity between samples from the foot well and from the scene was in his words, `remarkable'."

The trial, which was halted at lunchtime today, was due to continue again on Monday.

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