Vincent Tabak killed Jo Yeates “because she screamed” after he put his arm around her, according to the Dutch engineer’s defence statement read out in court today.
In the statement dating back to September 22, Tabak said he had not intended to kill Miss Yeates and had used no more than “moderate” force.
Prosecuting QC Nigel Lickley relayed the statement as follows:
“The mechanism of death as best the defendant can recall is as follows: The two were facing each other. He put one arm around her back with his hand in the middle of her back, she screamed.”
“He put the other hand on her mouth which caused the screaming to cease. He removed his hand from her mouth and the screaming continued.”
“He then put his hand around her throat – he believes it was the one that had behind her back – and held it there for about 20 seconds. He applied no more than moderate force.”
“He did not intend death or serious injuries. The actions above killed Miss Yeates, the defendant accepts his actions were unlawful.”
Bristol Crown court also heard pathologist Dr Russell Delaney say that 20 seconds “would be sufficient to cause the signs of venous obstruction and would be long enough to result in her death,” when questioned by Lickley.
Greg Reardon also gave evidence for the first time establishing that he had been in a relationship with 25 year old Yeates for two years and that they had moved to the Clifton flat on October 25.
Tabak reportedly put his head in his hands and looked away from Reardon as he gave evidence.
The court also heard that Tabak surfed the web after Yeates’ death for information about decomposition of bodies and the differences in sentencing for murder and manslaughter.
Yeates sustained 43 injuries when her next door neighbour Tabak strangled her at her Bristol flat on December 17, the court has heard.
Tabak denies murder but has admitted to manslaughter. The case continues.