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Pattaya Daily News

24 February 2008 :: 16:02:37 pm 30112

What Drove Steve Wright To Carry Out Such A Campaign Against Prostitutes

Steve Wright will spend the rest of his life in jail for killing five women in Suffolk in what prosecutors described as a six-week "campaign of murder". Judge Mr Justice Gross, at Ipswich crown court, ruled that Wright, a 49-year-old former forklift truck driver, should serve a whole life term and never be released.
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The murders of the women, all of whom worked as prostitutes in Ipswich, terrified the town and led to one of the country’s biggest police investigations.

“It is right you should spend your whole life in prison,” the judge said. “This was a targeted campaign of murder.”

He told Wright a life sentence was mandatory, but that he had to decide whether or not he should be eligible for parole.

“I must pass a sentence which meets the justice of the case,” he added. “In my judgment, upon reflection it must be a whole life term.”

The judge said the case met the legal requirements for a whole life sentence because the murders involved a “substantial degree of premeditation and planning”.

He pointed to the “macabre” way in which Wright had arranged two of the women’s bodies in a crucifix form.

He said Wright had targeted vulnerable women. “Drugs and prostitution meant they were at risk. But neither drugs nor prostitution killed them. You did,” he added.

“You killed them, stripped them and left them … why you did it may never be known.” As Gross said he should serve a “whole life” jail term, Wright stared ahead. As he was led away to begin his sentence, he made no eye contact with anyone else in court. There was no reaction from the relatives of the murder victims, who witnessed proceedings from the public gallery.

Wright’s brother, David, and sister, Jeanette, sobbed throughout. They left the court hand in hand without making any comment.

Following the sentencing, Wright’s solicitor, Mark Haslam, said the defence team would be considering whether there were grounds for an appeal.

The deputy chief constable of Suffolk, Jacqui Cheer, said of the sentence: “At the start of the inquiry we could not have asked for anything more.

“It is a tribute to all the people who have been involved – not only police officers but their support teams and all the members of the public who phoned in offering information. “I’ve never been in the position of the families. I cannot imagine what it is like. We can only hope this brings some closure for them.”

A crowd of around 30 people looked on as Wright was driven away to London, and there were shouts of “scum”.

Sources said he would be taken to Belmarsh prison, in south-east London, where he would undergo routine psychiatric assessments and be placed on suicide watch. It is believed he will serve his sentence at a high-security prison – possibly Wakefield, in West Yorkshire, or Whitemoor, near March, Cambridgeshire.

The jury yesterday took fewer than six hours to find Wright responsible for the murders. Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, 24-year-old Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell, also 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, were all drug addicts who were working as prostitutes when they were picked up and murdered by Wright, a regular customer who lived in the red light district and whom several of them knew well.

Their naked bodies were found dumped around the town – two in a stream and the other three in woods – over a 10-day period in December 2006.

Speaking after the verdicts yesterday, the families of Nicol and Clennell called for the death penalty to be reintroduced.

“While five young lives have been cruelly ended, the person responsible will be kept warm, nourished and protected,” the Nicol family said in a statement. “In no way has justice been done. These crimes deserve the ultimate punishment.”

Robert Sadd, the crown advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Suffolk, said the conviction had been “based on science”.

Read the original story


He was the quiet man in the pub, the neighbour that no-one knew. No-one ever took much notice of Steve Wright.

The twice-divorced, father-of-two appeared to be a shy, homely man. He kept himself to himself. He gave one word answers to questions. If you asked the people who lived in his street who Steve Wright was, not many would be able to tell you.

But that was until the early hours of Tuesday, December 19, 2006, when news of his arrest broke around the world.

Wright was born in Erpingham, Norfolk, on April 24, 1958, and began life in West Beckham.

His father, Conrad, served as a policeman in the RAF, and his family lived at the base in Coltishall, Norfolk, and also had spells in Malta and Singapore.

Wright’s father was married to his mother, Patricia, for 12 years – they also had an elder son, David, who is in his 50s, and two daughters, Tina and Jeanette, both in their 40s. They split while Wright was still a child, with his mother moving to America.

Conrad married his second wife, Valerie, in 1968. They had two more children, Keith, 39, and Natalie, and the family, including Wright, lived in Wyton, Huntingdonshire, before moving to Felixstowe.

An unremarkable youngster, Wright left school at 16 with no qualifications and went to work at a hotel in Aldeburgh, before leaving to join the Merchant Navy when he was 17.

He told his trial he worked on the QE2 for about six years – during which he first used prostitutes – as a waiter. During this time, as a 20-year-old, he married his first wife, Angela O’Donovan, in Wales, with whom he has a son who is in his 20s.

They divorced in 1987, around the time he was made redundant from the Merchant Navy. Wright moved to Halstead, Essex, where he bought a bungalow and married his second wife Diane Cassell, who he had met while on the QE2. But the marriage lasted less than a year was ?a total disaster?, according to his ex-wife.

By that time, Wright moved into the pub trade and managed pubs around the region while managers were away on holiday. He ran the Ferry Boat in Norwich – with his wife – for a time in 1988 before working in east London – where he had a year-long relationship with a girlfriend that bore a child – and Essex.

After leaving London, he moved to a pub Haverhill, at a time when he had started gambling heavily and had built up huge debts. There he had a brush with death that changed his personality. He was found lying in an alleyway and rescued by a Good Samaritan. It was never clear exactly what had happened – but the effect on Wright was profound.

“After that he went sort of a bit quiet. He wouldn’t say boo to a goose,? said his half- brother, Keith Wright. Before that he used to be quite outgoing. He would go for a beer and a laugh and a joke but then it was hard to get much out of him. He kept himself to himself. We didn’t see much of him.”

Wright’s ferocious gambling continued after he moved to a flat in Felixstowe and he got into further financial difficulties.

?I just got myself into so much debt – I was gambling on horses,? he told his trial.

Around this time, the court was told, Wright packed up his entire life and left for a fresh start in Thailand. But after hooking up with a woman in the country, he was ?scammed for everything he had?, according to his family, and took an overdose of pills on his crestfallen return.

He moved in with his father and stepmother in Felixstowe and for a time lived with his half-brother, before he started a relationship with Pamela Wright, a divorcee several years older than him. They met in a bingo hall in Felixstowe in 2000.

It was this relationship that finally gave some stability to Wright’s life. But his family failed to warm to his new girlfriend and Wright found himself caught between the two. He said he felt like Pamela was pulling him one way and his family the other. Wright, besotted, chose his new relationship over his family.

“I didn’t really hear a lot from him (after that),? said Keith. ?He just started playing golf and loved it. When we did see him it was hard to speak to him. You couldn’t have a conversation with him. He spent most of his time with Pam.

Wright got a job as a barman at the Brook Hotel in Felixstowe and lived with Pam in the town before moving to Ipswich.

It was while working in Felixstowe in 2003 that he was fined £80 in the courts for stealing from the bar, and it was a consequence of that conviction that a sample of Wright’s DNA was on a police database – which was to prove crucial in his arrest.

After living together in Felixstowe, Wright and Pamela moved to a flat in Bell Close, Ipswich. By this time Wright had registered with the Gateway recruitment agency, which was then based in Levington.

He moved to Nacton shortly after, and began a number of jobs in the labour trade, the most recent at Celotex in Hadleigh, where he was employed as a forklift driver at the time of his arrest.

One Celotex worker, who did not want to be named, said: ?He wasn’t an approachable sort of person and it was rumoured that he would often stand and stare at people.

?Obviously his arrest was a surprise. He pretty much kept himself to himself from what I can tell and didn’t seem to talk to many people – but that’s not necessarily that abnormal for a new guy in the factory.

?We have quite a few large containers on site and I remember at the time people saying it would be easy for him to dispose of things in them if he wanted to. He would just have to walk past and swing a carrier bag in and nobody would think any the different.?

Residents of Bell Close described Wright and Pamela as ?good neighbours? and never a problem. The couple moved to London Road, in the heart of the town’s red light district, at the start of October 2006.

The couple were regulars at Ipswich pub, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, where they got to know landlady Sheila Davis and her partner Eddie Roberts.

Ms Davis said: “He normally came in on a Sunday but she used to come in more on her own, at one point virtually every day.

?He was just very quiet, it was hard to get a word out of him, he would only speak when spoken to. On more than one occasion he was a bit strange, a bit weird.”

A drinker at the pub, who would not be named, said: “I always knew him as Pam’s husband. Pam was the life and soul and Steve was sat there quietly.?

Another acquaintance, who also asked for anonymity, said Wright was an invisible man who nobody noticed until he was arrested.

“If you asked 50 people around here before last December if they knew Steve Wright, no one would’ve said yes,” he said.

“Now everybody knows his name – but nobody really knows him.”

Detectives arrested Wright at 5am on Tuesday, December 19, 2006, at his home. Neighbours said he was wearing a dressing gown when led away by police.

He was not a man police were interested in until scientists found his DNA at crime scenes. And as news broke of his arrest later that day, soon the whole world knew the name of Steve Wright.


The bodies of victims were found at various locations around Ipswich.

The body of a young woman was discovered in the water of Belstead Brook at Thorpe’s Hill, near Hintlesham, by a member of the public on December 2, 2006. She was later identified as 25-year-old Gemma Adams and had not been sexually assaulted.Six days later, on 8 December, the body of 19-year-old Tania Nicol, a friend of Adams, who had been missing since 30 October, was discovered in water at Copdock Mill just outside Ipswich. There was no evidence of sexual assault. On 10 December, a third victim was found by a member of the public in an area of woodland by the A14 road near Nacton and later identified as 24-year-old Anneli Alderton. According to a police statement, she had been asphyxiated and was around three-months-pregnant when she died.

On 12 December, Suffolk police announced that the bodies of two more women had been found. On 14 December, the police confirmed one of the bodies as 24-year-old Paula Clennell. Clennell had disappeared on 10 December and was last seen in Ipswich. According to Suffolk Police Clennell died from “compression of the throat”. On 15 December, the police confirmed that the other body was that of 29-year-old Annette Nicholls, who disappeared on 5 December. The bodies of Clennell and Nicholls were found in Nacton near the Levington turn-off of the A1156, close to where Alderton was found. A member of the public had seen one of the bodies six metres from the main road and police discovered a second body by helicopter whilst conducting initial investigations.

Gemma Adams

Gemma Adams, aged 25, born in Kesgrave and living in Ipswich disappeared on 15 November at about 01.15 (UTC). Her body was found on 2 December, in a river at Hintlesham, she was the first of the victims to be found. Adams was found naked, in a brook, but had not been sexually assaulted. As a child, Adams had been grown up as a popular girl among friends and her affluent family, but as a teenager she became addicted to cannabis and eventually started taking heroin. She had been working as a prostitute to cover the cost of her drug addiction, which had already led to her being dismissed from her job with an insurance firm.

Tania Nicol

Tania Nicol, aged 19, from Ipswich disappeared on 30 October and was reported missing 1 November. Nicol was found 8 December near Copdock Mill in a river; there was no evidence of sexual assault. She was the first of the victims to be reported missing and the second body to be found. Nicol, the youngest of the five victims, had been working as a prostitute to fund her addiction to heroin and cocaine.

Annette Nicholls

Annette Nicholls, aged 29, a mother of one, from Ipswich, disappeared on 5 December at 21.50. Nicholls’ body was found on 12 December near Levington, naked but had not been sexually assaulted. Her body was one of those posed in the cruciform position. Nicholls, the oldest victim, had been a drug addict since the early 2000s, when she was completing a beautician’s course at Suffolk College. Soon afterwards, she had started working as a prostitute to fund her addiction.

Anneli Alderton

Anneli Alderton, aged 24, a mother of one who was three months pregnant, had been living at a temporary address in Colchester, Essex. Alderton disappeared on 3 December and was last seen on the 17.53 train from Harwich to Manningtree. Alderton got off the train at Manningtree at 18.15 before going on to Ipswich via another train, arriving at 18.43. Alderton’s body was found on 10 December near Nacton in woodland in front of Amberfield School. Alderton had been asphyxiated and was found naked, and also posed in the cruciform position, but as with the other victims, not sexually assaulted. Alderton had been addicted to drugs since shortly after her father’s death from lung cancer in 1998, and continued taking drugs following the birth of her baby several years later. She was also prostituting herself to fund her drug addiction.

Paula Clennell

Paula Clennell aged 24, mother of three children, born in Northumberland and living in Ipswich, disappeared on 10 December in Ipswich at about 00.20. Clennell’s body was found on 12 December near Levington on the same day as Nicholls’. Clennell was found naked but not sexually assaulted and a post mortem reported that she had been killed by a compression of her throat.[16] Prior to her death Clennell commented on the then recent murders in an interview with Anglia News that despite them making her “a bit wary about getting into cars” she continued to work as, “I need the money.”Clennell’s three children had all been taken into care due to her drug addiction. Clennel herself had spent some of her childhood in a referral unit, and it was shortly after being placed there that she started taking drugs.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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