22 Jan 2011



Vincent Tabak charged with the murder of Joanna Yeates

Detectives have been questioning the Dutch national for two days and had carried out an extensive search of his flat

Vincent Tabak
Dutch national Vincent Tabak, 32, has been charged with the murder of Joanna Yeates. Photograph: Rex Features

A 32-year-old neighbour of landscape architect
 Joanna Yeates has been charged with her murder
 in Bristol at Christmas, Avon and Somerset Police said tonight.
Vincent Tabak, a Dutch architectural engineer
who was arrested on Thursday, will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court on Monday accused of killing the 25-year-old.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Jones, who led the police inquiry, said tonight: "I would like to pay
 tribute to Jo's family and Greg for their assistance
and dignity in the most difficult of circumstances."
"Their support to us has been invaluable."
Yeates' father hadsaid earlier today that his
daughter and her boyfriend Greg Reardon
had never mentioned Tabak. "As far as I know
their paths never crossed," said David Yeates.
He added: "It would be good if the person
they have arrested is the right one this time
simply because then we wouldn't have to go
through it all again. I have nothing personal
against this man – I don't know him. We are
just waiting now."
Tabak works in Bath for a company called
Buro Happold, and moved to Bristol in 2009
from Bath. Police began searching his
 property, next door to Yeates' flat, on
Thursday after setting up a tarpaulin
supported by scaffolding outside the
property in Clifton, Bristol.
Police had been granted a 30 hour
 extension to continue questioning Tabak
 in advance of their decision to charge
him yesterday. Yeates' landlord,
Chris Jefferies, was arrested on
December 30 in connection with
the murder but was later released on bail.
Yeates was last seen alive on
Friday 17 December. She left the
Ram pub near Bristol city centre,
where she had been drinking with
colleagues and walked back to her
flat, stopping at three shops. After
a search, her body was found on
a rural roadside verge three miles
from her home. She had been strangled.


Speaking from his home in Romney,
Hampshire, David Yeates told of his
 hope that the police had arrested his
daughter's killer, but said that neither
she nor the boyfriend she lived with had
 ever mentioned Vincent Tabak.
He said: "I've seen him [Mr Tabak] just the
 once, I've never spoken to him. I didn't
 know his name, I didn't know what he did.
Jo and Greg never mentioned him, they
didn't socialise. As far as I know their paths
never crossed. Their firms might have
worked together but I have no idea about that
– Jo never mentioned anything."
Mr Tabak, 32, lived with Tanja Morson, 34,
his US-born financial analyst girlfriend,
in a flat next door to the apartment which
Miss Yeates shared with her boyfriend,
Greg Reardon. The two flats in Canynge
Road, Bristol, were even connected by a
blocked-up doorway, but it has not
previously been known whether the
couples knew one another.
Mr Tabak, a Dutch architect who has
been described as quiet, studious and
 polite, was arrested at 2am on Thursday 
after police investigating the murder 
 reportedly received an anonymous 
telephone tip-off from a sobbing woman 
who had been moved by a television 
appeal by the parents of 25-year-old 
Miss Yeates.
Detectives had until late last night to
or release Mr Tabak or to apply for an
extension to his custody. If they used
their full 96 hours permitted in law to
question him, he would have to be
charged or released by early tomorrow
Officers arrested Mr Tabak in the top flat
of a converted Victorian house in Cotham,
Bristol, less than a mile away from the
murder scene in Clifton.
The flat, in Aberdeen Road, is co-owned
by Emily Williams, 31, a friend of
 Miss Morson's who has been travelling
in Chile since early this month, and her
 sister Lucy Williams, who lives in London.
Michael Williams, the father of the two
sisters, said that Mr Tabak's girlfriend
had been anxious to move out of her
own flat because of its proximity to the
scene of the unsolved murder.
Speaking at his home in Magor, south
Mr Williams told The Sunday Telegraph:
"I know Emily was friends with Tanja.
She worked with her a couple of years
ago at Dyson. I don't know her circle of
friends but I know of Tanja. Emily said
Tanja was in the flat next door to
Joanna Yeates. She mentioned
Tanja and her boyfriend.
"I know Tanja said that Joanna was 
murdered and she didn't want to go back
 to her flat. Emily told me this before she went to Chile."
One neighbour in Canynge Road 
said she thought she had last seen 
Mr Tabak and Miss Molson "a few weeks 
ago", in contrast with earlier reports that 
she had not been seen in the area for 
months and that the couple may have 
split up.Mr Tabak was often seen 
cycling in the Clifton area. Another 
neighbour said she was not aware 
that he had a car, adding: "I think he 
cycles to Clifton Down train station on 
his way to work in Bath."
Mr Tabak's arrest followed the filming
of a BBC Crimewatch reconstruction,
 due to be screened on Wednesday,
and an emotional appeal by Miss Yeates'
 parents, David, 63, and Theresa, 58.
Both events have prompted over 300
calls from the public.
In the appeal, the bereaved couple
said: "If you know something and do
not come forward you are consciously
hampering the apprehension of Jo's
killer and the perpetrator is still free.
You will also be prolonging the torment of
Jo's family and friends."
The arrest as just the latest twist in
Operation Braid, the police code name
 for the murder investigation.
Relatives of Mr Tabak yesterday
told this newspaper that they are
convinced he is not a murderer.
Speaking at her home in Doornenburg,
near Arnhem, Pauline Tabak, the suspect's
sister-in-law, said: "He is a kind, friendly,
intelligent guy. He is well-educated and
has a good family and a good job. He is
not capable of murdering anybody –
absolutely not. He is a sweet, gentle
"We can't say any more until Vincent
gives us more information that he wants
 us to pass on. But there is no way he
murdered that young woman. We are
totally convinced that he is innocent."
Tabak's brother, Marcek, who is
separated from Pauline but lives
nearby, also said Vincent Tabak was
innocent. "I am shocked that he has
been accused of murder," he said.
"He is a nice man. They have got
the wrong guy."
Local people in the Clifton area of
Bristol also said they were surprised by
 the development. Mandy Golledge,
who runs The Mall Newsagent in
Clifton, said she was stunned by
the arrest and described Tabak as
"Him and his girlfriend are a nice couple,"
she said. "They often came in on a
Saturday for the paper.
"He seems like a very gentle, nice man.
I haven't seen them recently but then 
 locals have said he's been away since 
before Christmas.
"It's a bit of a shock, as everyone
who has been in the frame is a
customer of mine."
Since Mr Tabak's arrest on Thursday,
 another witness claims to have 
heard cries from the building 
where Miss Yeates lived on the 
night she was arrested. A 
 resident in a building directly 
behind 44 Canynge Road has 
told police he heard a woman 
screaming "Help me" on the 
night Miss Yeates went missing.
Miss Yeates was last seen on the
evening of Dec 17 when she left the
Ram pub in the centre of Bristol at
around 8pm after drinking with friends,
to walk the 20-minute journey home
to Clifton. Around 8.30 she is known
to have used her mobile phone to ring
her best friend Rebecca Scott and
arrange to meet on Christmas Eve.
Ten minutes later she stopped at a
Tesco Express on Regent Street in
Clifton, around a quarter of a mile
from her home, where she bought
a pizza. Police have since revealed
that Miss Yeates did not eat the
pizza, and the wrapping and the
box are still missing.
She then visited an off-licence to
buy some cider before returning to
her flat. A receipt from Tesco was
found in the flat along with a cream
-coloured coat she had been wearing
and her mobile phone and keys.
Mrs Yeates was officially reported
missing by her boyfriend on Dec 19
after he returned to Bristol from a
weekend away visiting relatives in
Over the next five days Mr Reardon
and Miss Yeates' parents made a
series of appeals for information,
 before dog walkers discovered her
frozen body on Christmas Day.
Three days later an autopsy confirmed
that Miss Yeates died of strangulation.
 On Dec 29, it was reported that
Chris Jefferies, 65, her landlord,
who lived in the same block of flats,
saw her leave her home with two
people on the night she disappeared.
He later denied the sighting.
The following day, Mr Jefferies was
arrested at his house at 7am on
suspicion of murdering Miss Yeates
and was taken to a police station for
questioning. Detectives were
subsequently granted more time to
question him after it emerged that he
helped Mr Reardon to start his car just
hours before his girlfriend vanished.
A day later Mr Jefferies was released
on police bail and detectives publicly
 warned women not to walk home
alone after dark, stating that the killer
remained at large.
On January 5th, police announced that
Miss Yeates' body was found with a
 missing sock and also revealed that
she was not wearing boots or coat
but that these were found at her
home in Bristol.
Two weeks later on Jan 21 it was
reported that traces of DNA were
found on the victim's breast, stomach
and jeans and are thought to be from
her attacker's saliva. The DNA profiles
may be able to rule out suspects but
may not be sufficient to link them to a
specific individual.


viv said...

What great work by the Police.

I hope this is just the start of the healing process for Greg and Jo's family.

Wizard said...

Tabak has now been charged. So we will have to wait sometime until we know what evidence they have against him. Perhaps he confessed. It would be interesting to know how he transported the body to the country lane, as he apparently did not have a car. Two cars thought to have belonged to Jefferies were taken away for forensics, but seemed to have been clean. But Tabak must have accessed a car from somewhere.

Earlier on in the evening of 17th, Chris Jefferies was helping the boyfriend (Greg Reardon) start his car, he and a next-door neighbour helped to get it going. I think it would be normal during this help for Reardon to mention he was going away for the weekend etc. We are told, after Reardon left, Jeffries bumped into Tabak (8.00pm) who was arriving home from work on his bicycle. Jefferies told Tabak what he had been doing and no doubt mentioned the boyfriend was going away. So Tabak knew Jo was on her own and struck within the hour.

The tip off that led to his arrest came from an anonymous telephone call from a woman moved by Jo’s parents television appeal.
Something I always thought strange in their appeal was they mentioned the killer could strike again. At the time it was not thought to be the work of a serial killer. I just wonder if this was aimed directly at Tabak’s girlfriend, meaning he has murdered once and you could be next.

Wizard said...

In the McCann case how often have we heard statements from their friends and family in G&K's support.

The police have yet to prove Tabak guilty but the reactions of people who know him highlights how some find it so out of character and impossible for someone they know well to commit murder.

Pauline Tabak, the suspect's sister-in-law, said:
"He is a kind, friendly, intelligent guy. He is well-educated and has a good family and a good job. He is not capable of murdering anybody – absolutely not. He is a sweet, gentle person.”

“…there is no way he murdered that young woman. We are totally convinced that he is innocent."

Tabak's brother, Marcek:

"I am shocked that he has been accused of murder," he said. "He is a nice man. They have got the wrong guy."

Wizard said...

Hi Viv - Cameron – I am restraining from commenting on but looking at the antics of some Italian politicians at least they can make me smile.

Silvio Berlusconi’s has so far managed to laugh off countless accusations of serial licentiousness. A Moroccan belly dancer Karima Keyek better known as Ruby Rubacouri claims to have received 10,000 dollars from the wayward Berlusconi at a party at his villa. Fleshing out the story she say 20 young women performed an African-style ritual in the nude known as the ‘bunga bunga’. I think I get the picture lol.

Wizard said...

Sorry Viv off topic but on Cameron and no doubt up Berlusconi’s street.

Sunday Mirror article - ‘Just while Cameron’s toffs are on the ropes, we strike at the core of his so-called party of family values.’

‘Tory grandee and cabinet minster Lord Strathclyde is caught with his pants down.’

Lol - who said farce is dead.

viv said...

Hiya Wiz, there are no rules about being on topic here, if you want to say I just saw a lovely fox in my garden or whatever, that is fine, lol, or was it Berlusconi? Apparently one lady slept with him for being grateful he paid a medical bill for a family member....the Italian way ??

This coalition, I just wish they would hurry up, pack up and clear off back to the asylum where they belong. They want to flog off our national forests and get patients to email their GP to save appointments. One can just imagine Karen Matthews (if she were not banged up) writing so eloquently ...I thought the diagnosis and state of the patient could be often made when the doctor viewed the patient. One pilot in Scotland, they had emails like, oooh I have got terrible chest pain.. and this is for the doctor to review at the end of his working day. I can recall being a probation officer and feeling absolutely overwhelmed by the burden of blasted emails, but now these idiots expect GPs to just start diagnosing and treating by email at the end of their working day, I think they would be there all night and still very worried that lady does not make any sense to me and that lady seriously exaggerates, but maybe she is really ill this time. Surely health care is a two way street?

viv said...

Interesting snipped from the Daily Mail, apparently Jo was dumped the following morning and the police had video evidence of the car they believe was doing that for the last three weeks.

But, it was only when they got that call from the distressed female on Wed they arrested him shortly afterwards.

This is not exactly making sense to me at the moment. AT least not the way the Mail tell it anyway!

viv said...

Chris Jeffries, 65, Miss Yeates’s landlord, was arrested on suspicion of murder five days after her body was found. But the former teacher was released on bail two days later.
Police have been holding dramatic CCTV evidence that they believe shows the car in which they believe Miss Yeates’s body was being taken to be disposed of just hours after she was murdered.
The evidence captures what detectives believe to be the car containing her body being driven over Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol the morning after the killing of landscape architect Miss Yeates, on its way to dumping her body three miles away in a lane in nearby Failand.
The images were caught by cameras on the bridge on December 18, the day after Miss Yeates, 25, vanished. It is understood that Avon and Somerset Police have had the footage for three weeks.
Joanna's flat: Police officers put up scaffolding around 44 Canynge Road
Detectives interviewed the owner of the car earlier this month but eliminated him at that stage.
A source close to the investigation told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The investigation changed dramatically three weeks ago after this new CCTV footage came to light.
‘The discovery of this car driving over the bridge shifted the case’s dynamics.

'Before this breakthrough the investigation was close to hitting a brick wall. They had interviewed Miss Yeates’s landlord but nothing materialised from it and there was no concrete evidence linking him in any way to the murder.
‘It appears he had brought himself under suspicion by making a series of comments which now appear to be irrelevant and innocuous. There was no case against him.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1349615/Joanna-Yeates-murder-Vincent-Tabak-charged-murder-court-Monday.html#ixzz1BuSyJagq

viv said...

So hang on a minute, what are they saying here, Tabak killed Jo, had no car to dump the body and so nicked Jefferies? Ummm.

Wizard said...

The video of a car the police had three weeks previously. Well I suppose when the police checked ownership of all the cars on the video it proved fruitless as no one said their car was stolen, loaned to someone at that time or they were linked by friendship/association to Tabak or anyone else known to Jo. All owners gave acceptable explanations of what they doing driving across the bridge.

It’s seems the anonymous female telephone call led the police to Tabak’s door perhaps then ownership of one of the cars on the video was traced to an associate/friend of Tabaks.

viv said...

Hiya Wiz, this other female friend who kindly loaned him or was it them her flat whilst she was in Chile. Did she leave a car behind for them to use also. Poor lady!

viv said...

But if it was one of the cars Jefferies has then perhaps that explains why there has been no official announcement saying he is released from his police bail/no longer a suspect.

It seems to me that could well have been one of the reasons they pulled Jeffries in and questioned him for two days, apart from his strange and conflicting comments.

viv said...

I note Tabak abandoned his application for bail to a judge in chambers this morning.

Presumably, he instructed his solicitor to make an urgent application for bail, but upon arriving the barrister advised that was not such a good idea. It is probably marginally better to make no application at all, than to make one and lose and the adverse publicity that would engender. Who knows it may also have convinced his family the police do actually have the principal offender against Jo. That abandonment surely demonstrates the strength of the prosecution case against him.

Meanwhile we have still not heard what is to become of Jefferies, I wonder if he is going to be charged with some other offence in connection with this matter?

viv said...

Actually the hearing was in open court with reporters, but Mr Cook, Tabak's barrister objected to the using Twitter in court, on the basis of the intense media interest and reporting may prevent his client getting a fair trial.

There can be no doubt there is very cogent evidence against Tabak, but we will have to wait until after his trial to find out precisely what it is!

Wizard said...

Hi Viv,
Thank you for the update on Tabak I was out all day yesterday and not able to keep abreast of what happened in court.

viv said...

Hiya Wiz

Well I hope you had a nice break and were not working too hard !

It is baffling re Jeffries, I just think that they believe he is involved in some way and may be charged with some offence, perhaps in connection with disposal of the body, although quite why he would do that I just cannot imagine.

The fact that they not only arrested him (Jeffries) but held him custody for quite a lengthy period does suggest they have a pretty strong case against him also. Of course Tabak does not seem to be a driver?

Contrary to what others are suggesting on the internet, the police do not actually arrest and hold people like this on a such a serious case unless they have some pretty strong evidence against them.

I wonder if the reason Tabak's barrister did not make an application for bail is because he has admitted it? That is clearly a possibility. It does sound like a sexual assault that went much further, perhaps when he got rejected?

viv said...

Just tried to post this on Joana Morais, he thread about Payne and the October 2007 email from DC Marshall of Leicester Police to Ricardo Paiva, PJ. As I cannot get it to post, posting it here, this is obviously a subject that I will continue to find very interesting in relation to this case, not least the continuing silence from the Paynes and the McCanns on this admittedly "delicate" issue.

There is no confusion, Payne is an incoherent liar, simple.

In his original statement dated 4 May 2007 he says nothing at all about being in the McCanns apt during the early evening. At no stage is there ever any reference to him being in that apt at 7pm.

In the questionnaire referred above he tells UK police officers in October 2007 he saw Maddie with both Kate and Gerry in their apt at 5 pm and then in his rogatory in April 2008 he gets even better with his embroidery, he now tells us he was in the McCann apartment and saw Kate and the children, not Gerry, he was playing tennis. He cannot recall what any of them were wearing, but the children look like pure white little angels. All three of them he insists, Maddie was definitely there. Her bed was not slept in that night though was it!

When you read his rogatory you can see the officer is most insistent to intimately question him about what he was doing from about 3 pm that afternoon. Did anyone actually see him "windsurfing alone". Apparently not. He says he had to rush back from the restaurant at 6.15 to go play tennis but then tell us he "peeled off" from the other (Mat and Russell) two because he had to go talk to Gerry, then he even got persuaded to go and check on Kate.

He repeatedly contradicts himself during this sequence in the rogatory, at one point stating he actually played a bit of tennis with Gerry but then later saying he had not got his kit at that point and actually told Kate Gerry has finished, well if he had why send Payne. The officer incredulously asks him at one point, "surely you did not intend to play tennis"? At another the officer gets him to clearly explain what Gerry was apparently doing when he turned up to have a chat with him, Payne falls for it, oh he was having a really good game, then at what point did you manage to have a chat with him, did he shout to you as he was playing? AT another point the officer asks him whether he used his own kit or Mark Warners, Mark Warners replies dumbo Payne (he seems to love that phrase). The officer must have been scratching his head wondering what kit it was he needed to go back to his room to fetch..You see if he had just come off the beach for windsurfing and apparently only went into his own room for a minute or two, what did he do? Would he not have already been in shorts and could have just picked up a raquet and genuinely started playing tennis with Gerry, oh but he was already having a great game.

It seems to me, No 31, and sorry if this troubles you, but by the time it got to those rogatory interviews Payne and Gerry had decided it was most important that Payne could place Maddie being alive and well in the apartment as late as 6.30 that night. It also seems to me that thanks to her lovely daddy and his mate, she was long gone by that stage and as the above email confirms, the police would really love to know what Payne was really up to earlier that afternoon, when he had apparently left Fiona and her mummy babysitting his own two little ones. Funny even he did not think they needed to do that at night! Just when he needs it I guess so the story reads right. But his simply does not!

Do not let me put you off posting though, comments like your own trying to suggest we are "confused" about Payne really fascinate me, so keep them coming!

viv said...

From: DC 1756 Mike Marshall

Dept.: Leicestershire Police, Phone nr. 0116 2484409

To: Ricardo Paiva

Ref.: David Payne

Date: October 24, 2007


Please find enclosed Arul and Katherina Gaspar’s statements, as requested.

I have carefully read the written questionnaire that was handed over by David Payne, but I was unable to extract any other information apart from what is already known.

He states that he saw Madeleine, for the last time, at 5 pm on the 3rd of May, 2007, in the McCanns’ apartment. Kate and Gerry were equally present then. He did not state the reason why he was in the apartment at that time, or what they were doing. He does not state for how long he stayed there, either.

When he was asked with who he was in the evening of the 3rd of May, he states that he has already given that information to the police and that he cannot remember if he was aware of anyone else.

He cannot recall what he was wearing that afternoon.

In fact, he participated in the search, but for most of the time, he was alone. Sometimes he was accompanied by Matthew Oldfield.

He did not participate in the searches that took place on the 4th of May, because he spent most of that day at the police station.

To many of the questions there is no full reply, stating merely and he has already supplied the Portuguese police with the information / statements.

I have again examined Fiona Payne’s information. In her statement, she says that she went to the McCanns’ apartment at around 7 pm on the 3rd of May, along with Kate. She states that the husband arrived 10 minutes later; it is unclear what husband she is referring to, whether it’s Gerry or her own husband.

Her replies to the written questionnaire are vague, as she replies to the questions saying “according to my statement” or using a similar expression.

in: Processo 201/07.0 GALGS, pages 3909 and 3910 (Volume XIII)

viv said...

And Kate was not even in the apartment according to Fiona, she turned up with her at 7pm. So who was watching the McCanns kids, all two or erm three of them.

This could read like, as Payne says, well Gerry is my mate and Fiona is Kate's mate, so I am helping Gerry and Fiona is helping Kate.

What a gruesome little bunch of liars, I still think of Fiona reading her little speech on the steps of the High Court with Payne checking her every word. What a good girl Fiona, just the type to be utterly vague and incoherent, I am sure....

Surgeon to Fiona, did you give that nervous woman her pre med, erm but erm yea well erm, well it confirms with my earlier statements to you, do you want me to give her another one just in case or would that kill her?

I actually think Fiona could be the very precise type, when it suits her. But there are things she would rather not remember too well. Odious creature.

Wizard said...

It makes you wonder if KM went AWOL with David Payne for a brief encounter leaving the three McCann kids to their own devices.

viv said...

OMG Wiz, Kate and David Payne, if that be right I can only say what a grossly awesome taste in men that lady has, lol!

Wizard said...

You never know Viv, DP might have hidden talents. LOL

viv said...

LOL Wiz:

"I have again examined Fiona Payne’s information. In her statement, she says that she went to the McCanns’ apartment at around 7 pm on the 3rd of May, along with Kate. She states that the husband arrived 10 minutes later; it is unclear what husband she is referring to, whether it’s Gerry or her own husband."

So maybe our only query now is which one got the lucky job of looking after "jogging" Kate and Fiona, did Payne and Gerry have to take that in turns also?