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Vicky jury to go out on Monday

PUBLISHED: 11:09 17 November 2001 | UPDATED: 15:21 03 March 2010

THE jury at the trial of a Suffolk businessman accused of murdering Trimley teenager Vicky Hall will retire to consider its verdict on Monday.

The judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Moses, has finished his summing up and has told the jury at Norwich Crown Court it would be sent out after the weekend to decide whether or not Adrian Bradshaw murdered the 17-year-old A' level student.

THE jury at the trial of a Suffolk businessman accused of murdering Trimley teenager Vicky Hall will retire to consider its verdict on Monday.

The judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Moses, has finished his summing up and has told the jury at Norwich Crown Court it would be sent out after the weekend to decide whether or not Adrian Bradshaw murdered the 17-year-old A' level student.

"We have reached the most important and critical part of the trial," said the judge, after completing two-and-a-quarter hours of summing up at the close of the 11-day case.

Bradshaw, 27, from Felnor Walk, Felixstowe, is accused of murdering teenager Vicky who disappeared on her way home from the Bandbox nightclub in Felixstowe on September 19, 1999, where she had spent the evening with her best friend Gemma Algar. Bradshaw denies the charge.

Vicky's naked and semi-submerged body was found five days later, 25 miles away in a water-filled ditch by a bridleway in Creeting St Peter.

Bradshaw, who used to live at The Wheelwrights in Trimley, denies killing the teenager who he claims he had never met.

"It was, was it not, a terrible crime," the judge told the court. "It is difficult to think of a worse - cut off, as that young bright girl was, at the beginning of her future."

There was no doubt that the teenager - who lived in Trimley's Faulkeners Way with her parents - was abducted and murdered, the judge said.

But the "real question" for the jury was whether a deposit of soil found in Bradshaw's car came from the Creeting St Peter ditch where Vicky's naked body was disposed of, and whether jurors could be sure it was he who left it there.

"The tragedy of this death will not be made any better by a conviction unless it is based on evidence which makes you sure of guilt," he said.

The judge devoted more than an hour to addressing the evidence of two soil boffins who had given conflicting accounts of whether soil in Bradshaw's car matched that of the Creeting ditch where Vicky's body was dumped.

Referring to the testimonies of prosecution soil expert Professor Kenneth Pye and defence expert Dr Andrew Moncrieff, the judge said there were two equally important issues to consider.

One was whether soil in the footwell of Bradshaw's blue Porsche matched that sampled from the ditch. The other was whether soil in the area the body was found was distinct (whether or not it could have come from anywhere else).

The differences in the evidence given by the two experts was clear, he said. Professor Pye said there was a "high degree of similarity" between 10 grains of soil found in Bradshaw's car and in the area near where the body was dumped but Dr Moncrieff said: "You could not tell where the footwell sample was from," the judge said.

Vicky's parents Graham and Linda sat with her brother Steven, 17, in the public gallery to hear the judge's remarks to the jury. Nearby, sat Gemma Algar, the last person to see Vicky alive as she bid her goodbye minutes before 2.30am on September 19, at the first junction with Trimley's main road and Faulkeners Way. Vicky never made it home.

Bradshaw's parents and sisters sat on the other side of the court to hear the judge's summing up.

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