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22 Feb 2008 14:43
Convicted killer Steve Wright was told by a judge on Friday that he will spend the rest of his life behind bars for his six-week “targeted campaign of murder” against five prostitutes.
Wright (49) killed the five drug-addicted women around the city of Ipswich in late 2006.
On Friday he was sentenced to a whole life term without the prospect of parole, meaning he will never be released.
The judge, Justice Gross, said his crimes had caused public revulsion. “It is right you should spend your whole life in prison,” he told Ipswich Crown Court.
“This was a targeted campaign of murder.”
Drugs and prostitution had exposed the deceased to risk but neither, he added, had killed them.
“You did—you are responsible for their deaths,” he said.
“Why you did it may never be known, but as the jury have concluded, disbelieving your denials, murder them you did.”
He added: “As a result, there is only one sentence—that of life imprisonment.”
Media reports said police are now set to question Wright over the unsolved murder of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, who was killed more than 20 years ago.
Lamplugh was 25 when she met Wright while they were both working on the QE2 cruise ship. She went missing in July 1986 after leaving her office in Fulham, west London to meet a mysterious “Mr Kipper”. She was declared dead in 1994.
Wright’s ex-wife, Diane Cole (53), who also worked on the QE2, told the Daily Mirror she had checked her diary and noticed Wright had had shore leave at that time.
She said Wright also used the word “kipper” as slang for face. Police have yet to comment.
After Wright’s conviction on Thursday, the families of two of the dead women called for the return of the death penalty. Wright’s father told newspapers he had disowned his son and wanted him to die for his crimes.
Wright, labelled the “Suffolk Strangler” by the media, had murdered the five women while his 63-year-old partner, Pamela, was working night shifts. Their bodies were found in the space of just 10 days around the city, two of them arranged in a cruciform pose with arms outstretched. After two days of deliberations, the jury of nine men and three women found Wright guilty of murdering Gemma Adams (25), Tania Nicol (19), Anneli Alderton (24), Paula Clennell (24) and Annette Nicholls (29).
The court had heard that in the three months before his December 19 2006 arrest, Wright, the son of an RAF policeman, had sex with a dozen prostitutes, including four of those he killed. His DNA was found on the bodies of three of the victims while bloodstains from two of the women were found on his jacket at his home.
Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull of Suffolk Police said the “appalling crimes left a community, a county and a nation in a state of profound shock”.—Reuters
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