Killer Tabak admits abuse images

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Published: Monday 2nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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Joanna Yeates’s killer has admitted four charges of possessing indecent images of children.

Dutch engineer Vincent Tabak, 37, was jailed for life in October 2011 after being convicted of killing his 25-year-old neighbour at her flat in Clifton, Bristol.

Tabak strangled Miss Yeates, whose boyfriend was away for the weekend, for sexual thrills on December 17 2010.

He dumped her partially-clothed body on a snowy verge in Failand, near Bristol, where it was discovered by walkers on Christmas morning.

It later emerged that Tabak carried out the killing after becoming obsessed with violent sex and pornography, with explicit videos of blonde women being throttled found on his laptop.

Detectives combing Tabak’s home during the murder investigation also discovered 145 indecent images of children stored on the Dell laptop.

Tabak was summonsed to court from his prison cell in relation to those images during a hearing at Bristol Magistrates Court in December 2013.

He was due to stand trial at Bristol Crown Court today but entered guilty pleas after Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, rejected an application by his defence to stop the case.

Dean Armstrong QC had argued his client could not receive a fair trial due to his notoriety and the portrayal of him during the two-part ITV drama The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies.

But the judge ruled: “I take the view that it will be possible for Mr Tabak to have a fair trial.”

Judge Ford said any jury trying Tabak on the charges would have to be informed of his conviction for murdering Miss Yeates.

“It is an extreme example of a case where prejudice is alleged because Mr Tabak has been convicted of murder in what I would describe as a high profile murder,” the judge added.

“The allegations which the prosecution bring in relation in this case are relatively minor in comparison to that which Mr Tabak has already been convicted of.”

Tabak, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and blue tie, was flanked by five security officers in the dock as he entered guilty pleas to the four charges.

He admitted four counts of possessing indecent images of children on his Dell laptop between January 2009 and 2011. The charges relate to 145 images, the majority of which are classed at the lowest category in terms of seriousness.

Two counts of making indecent photographs between 2009 and 2011, relating to 23 images found on external hard drives, were ordered to lie on file.

Opening the case for the prosecution, David Bartlett said detectives discovered the images after examining Tabak’s laptop in 2011.

“This case concerns 145 indecent images,” Mr Bartlett said. “All of which were found on the laptop computer of this defendant which was seized on January 20 2011.

“On that occasion he was arrested and cautioned and the Dell laptop was seized.”

Mr Bartlett said the majority of images related to two teenage girls of “relative maturity” and were in the least serious category.

“But some of the most serious category are not, they are of pre-pubescent girls,” he added.

Mr Bartlett said Tabak had been interviewed in prison in March 2012 but refused to answer any questions.

“He said there had been such serious leakages in information that he couldn’t have a fair trial and he couldn’t trust the security and integrity of information that he gave to the police,” Mr Bartlett said.

The court heard Tabak’s former girlfriend was interviewed and said the engineer, who she described as being “very good” at computers, would use his laptop while sitting in his lounge.

“He did say to her on one occasion that he had a lot of pornographic material on the computer but got rid of it before they moved in together,” Mr Bartlett added.

Mr Armstrong said his client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

The judge jailed Tabak for 10 months, which will be served from today – meaning no increase on his murder sentence.

“I am dealing with you for four counts on the indictment of possession of indecent photographs of a child,” the judge said.

“There were a total of 145 images found on your laptop computer which was seized by the police in January 2011.

“Of these, 129 were in category C, the least serious category. Ten were in category B, the next category up on the level of seriousness.

“Six were at category A, more most serious category of images of this sort.

“There is an aggravating feature with the age and vulnerability of the child or children who were pre-pubescent.

“You have no previous convictions for behaviour of this sort and as part of the life sentence you are presently serving you are seeking assistance in relation to sexual offending.”

Judge Ford said Tabak would remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and banned him from working with children or young people.

“Mr Tabak, you can return to prison now,” the judge told Tabak before he was escorted down to the cells by the five dock officers.

Published: Monday 2nd March 2015 by The News Editor

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