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Joanna Yeates Murder Trial: Jury Told To Reach Majority Verdict

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JOANNA YEATES JURY TOLD TO REACH MAJORITY VERDICT
Yeates Murder Trial Jury Told To Reach Majority Verdict | Getty Images

The jury trying Vincent Tabak for the murder of architect Joanna Yeates has been told to reach a majority verdict.

The jurors are in their third day of deliberating whether Dutchman Tabak is guilty of murdering the 25-year-old blonde. Tabak has admitted killing Yeates at her flat in Clifton, Bristol on 17 December last year, pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Mr Justice Field, presiding over the case at Bristol Crown Court, previously told the jury not to let "emotion or sympathy" cloud their judgement.

The judge asked the jury on Wednesday: "Did he intend to kill her or cause her really serious harm? The fact that afterwards the defendant may have regretted what he had done does not amount to a defence."

He instructed the jury if they were not sure of Tabak's intentions when he strangled Yeates, their verdict "should be not guilty".

"If, having examined the evidence and despite the defendant's denial, you are sure that when the defendant strangled Joanna Yeates he intended to kill her or cause her really serious bodily harm, your verdict will be guilty," he said.

The jury was previously instructed to reach a unanimous verdict, but the judge has now said he will accept a majority. A majority counts as 11-1 or 10-2.

The landscape architect was strangled to death by her next door neighbour after she invited him in for a drink. She was reported missing two days later by her boyfriend Greg Reardon, after he returned to their ground-floor flat after a weekend away.

Yeates's frozen body was discovered by dog walkers on Christmas morning three miles from her home in a country lane in Failand, North Somerset.

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