Because the Suffolk murders stopped when Steve Wright was arrested and charged with the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich in December 2006, it was always going to be difficult for his defence team to “prove” that he was not guilty.
In the juries mind the lack of any further murders after his arrest was always going to be crucial.
His defence? I was with all the girls – as a paying customer – but didn't harm them in any way.
Is it possible? Yes.
Is it plausible? Less than yes.
Is it likely? Not really and that is why he is facing the rest of his life in prison.
A better question might be – is it possible that someone else killed the girls?
Yes, it is.
At the heart of the case is the forensic evidence. This is not surprising as murders are rarely committed in the daylight of publicity. By its very nature, murder is a private crime and eye witnesses are seldom available.
So, Wright's assertion that he picked up the girls for sex is plausible.
How do the authorities prove he killed them?
Truth is they can't – except by the process of logical deduction.
You might think that the police have him on CCTV dumping the bodies. No. You might think he was seen by someone who can testify it was he who dumped a body? No. You might think he told someone about the murders? No You might think his family and/or partner had serious concerns about his guilt and turned him in? No.
All the police had was Wright's DNA proving he had been with the girls – a fact he never disputed – and some fibres that belonged to the girls clothes, hair, etc., found in his home and car.
The Crown simply asks the jury to consider if it is more likely that someone else killed the girls. They obviously didn't and voted to convict him. I'm only surprised it took eight hours to reach a verdict? Was someone unconvinced?
The odds are that a very sick and very dangerous man has been removed from the body politic for a very long time. The contention that he will never be released is just pandering to the public's need for revenge. It may or may not happen.
More worrying still is the possibility that Wright is innocent. The real killer may be still out there. It's possible.
The mos useful function of a case of this type is its ability to refute the crazy calls for the reintroduction of the death penalty. Steve Wright's punishment, if he is indeed guilty, is worse than death. he may spend 40 or 50 years locked away.
If this is a miscarriage of justice, his death would only reinforce Parliament's reluctance to condone state sponsored murder.
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