Joanna Yeates’s killer Vincent Tabak was sentenced to life in prison today for her murder. In a statement written by her parents, David and Theresa, and read by family liaison officer, DC Ross Jones, outside Bristol Crown Court her parents said they wished Tabak could be sentenced to capital punishment. The statement went on to wish prison is a “living hell” for Tabak and that he is “the recipient of all evils, deprivations and degradations” while there.
Mr Justice Field ordered that Tabak spend a minimum of 20 years in prison and said he was guilty of an evil act and a danger to society. Yeates’ parents were not present for the sentencing, but her boyfriend Greg Reardon was in the court and close to tears. The 33 year old Dutch engineer strangled Ms Yeates and dumped her body on a roadside verge.
During the trial the prosecution asserted that Tabak’s attack was motivated by sex and that when the body was found her top had been pulled over her bra and one breast was exposed. During their investigation the police found hardcore pornography on Tabak’s computer including images of strangulation and bondage. However, this evidence was never shown to the jury as Mr Justice Field ruled that the value it had in trying to explain why Tabak might have acted in the way he did could not outweigh the prejudice it could cause to his defence.
Speaking outside their home, Ms Yeates’ parents said: “We are not elated. We always knew that he was guilty, whatever the jury decided. We are, however, relieved with the murder verdict because we do not know how we would have reacted if they had come back with manslaughter.”
“We are feeling mixed emotions, but we don’t really have any anger. Tabak has shown no remorse – in court he made noises, but there was nothing there.”