Tabak in tears over strangled Joanna pictures

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Vincent Tabak wept in the dock yesterday as a jury was shown harrowing images of Joanna Yeates’s strangled body.

The 33-year-old covered his face with his hands as close-up pictures of her injuries were shown on big screens.

Tabak removed his glasses and wiped his eyes as pictures of her snow-covered corpse were shown.

Further images taken by police after her body was found on Christmas Day show her “in a foetal-type position”. Close-up shots of her face from post-mortem examinations showed her with blood-stained short blonde hair.

Her eyes were closed and one of her earring studs was in place. Red bruise marks were shown on her neck and chin.

Mr Justice Field had warned the jury at Bristol Crown Court to prepare for the images taken after the body was found by dog walker Daniel Birch.

Mr Birch and his wife, Rebecca, had been walking their chocolate Labrador Roxy shortly before 9am after opening their presents.

They discovered a “lump” at the side of Longwood Lane, Failand, Somerset, after parking their Mini One car nearby, the court heard.

Miss Yeates was lying next to the road with her knees pointing towards a quarry wall.

Her next-door neighbour Tabak admits manslaughter but denies murder.

As the pictures were shown to the jury, pathologist Russell Delaney told the jury of a host of injuries found around her face and neck.

Images were taken of her both before and after she was removed in a body bag to Flax Bourton mortuary, in North Somerset.

Post-mortem examination pictures showed her lying on her right side with her jeans still intact but her pink top pulled up over her head, exposing her navel and her grey bra.

Her right arm was bent around her head while her left was resting straight across her body.

Dr Delaney performed the first examination at 6pm on the day her body was found. Purple bruising above Miss Yeates’s right eye and a graze on her cheek were found by Dr Delaney, the court heard.

Injuries on her nose and lip were also suffered while Miss Yeates was still alive, he said.

Dr Delaney said: “Bruising only occurs when the heart is beating – so the injuries occurred during life.”

Haemorrhages were noted by Dr Delaney on her eyelids and face.

“The particular haemorrhages in the skin, face and eyelids are signs there has been venous obstruction in the head and neck,” Dr Delaney said.

Post-mortem examinations continued on Boxing Day.

A Dutch interpreter was brought into the dock to make sure the defendant understood medical terms.

Dr Delaney used photographs to illustrate to the jury the 43 separate injuries recorded on Miss Yeates’s body during the post-mortem examination.

These included fingermark-style bruising on her wrists which indicated that she had been gripped by her attacker.

Dr Delaney was asked by Mr Lickley to read out the conclusion of his findings.

He said: “Miss Joanna Yeates died as a result of manual compression of the neck.

“It is not possible to quantify the amount of force applied or the duration of the compression that resulted in unconsciousness and death.”

The trial continues on Monday.